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Rory McIlroy suggests limiting alcohol, possibly ending liquor sales at golf events

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Rory McIlroy is 10 under through three rounds of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational and squarely in the hunt going into Sunday’s final round. It’s been a good week for him, one he needed before the Masters in three weeks. On Saturday, though, McIlroy noted that even as successful as this week has been, there has been some negativity from fans. Some of the Bay Hill galleries (and golf galleries in general), he said, have gotten a little out of control. 

“There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife’s name,” said McIlroy. “I was going to go over and have a chat with him. I don’t know, I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think that they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more. 

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves and whatever, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy it can get a little much. It used to be like you bring beers on to the course or buy beers but not liquor. And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail or whatever. So I don’t know whether it’s just go back to letting people walk around with beers in their hand, that’s fine, but, I don’t know.”

That’s a pretty interesting suggestion by McIlroy. I’m not sure how thrilled tournaments would be to limit the sales of alcohol, but it would certainly help thin out the crazies. I watched McIlroy have an unruly fan tossed at the 2016 Ryder Cup who told him to “suck a d—.” It was unnerving given how close patrons are to the action.

McIlroy also noted that maybe not every week should try and be like the Phoenix Open, which is well-known as one of the biggest parties on the PGA Tour.

“It’s obviously a lot of tournaments see how successful Phoenix is and they want to try to replicate that, which is great,” said McIlroy. “It’s great for the tournament; it’s great for us. But golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved. You don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out. You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

This is not the first instance of a young star on the PGA Tour calling out the fans. Justin Thomas had somebody tossed during the 71st hole of his win at the Honda Classic this year. Heck, it’s not even the first time McIlroy has spoken up in 2018. He talked at the Genesis Open about how much yelling and screaming Tiger Woods deals with and how difficult that makes it for him.

“I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field,” said McIlroy. “Like it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around. So whether that calms down the more he plays and it doesn’t become such a novelty that he’s back out playing again because it’s … tiring. I need a couple Advil … I’ve got a headache after all that.

“You know, whoever that’s teeing off at 8:30 in the morning doesn’t get that and can just go about his business and just do his thing. That’s tough. He has to deal with that every single time he goes out to play.”