Rory McIlroy and Rogue Fans: An Inseparable Pair at the Ryder Cup Events

Published 09/27/2023, 1:00 PM EDT

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Kick-starting the Ryder Cup ceremonies this year, a pre-tournament conference happened recently. Players were getting candid about past moments, current mindsets, and other things. Rory McIlroy’s turn also came up.

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A question about heckling naturally came up since the Ryder up, McIlroy, and heckling go hand in hand. Besides, heckling incidents in the current season also made it a natural topic of discussion. McIlroy answered the question in a mature yet assertive way. 

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Rory McIlroy is not new to heckling incidents. A few months back he had even spoken about his pet peeve which, funnily enough, involved heckling.

In the 2016 Ryder Cup, during the practice rounds, a fan was having some fun at the expense of the players and was joking about them. McIlroy and company heard this, and the fan was challenged to putt a ball himself. Luckily for him, the fan holed it and couldn’t believe his luck. The players then appreciated the guy and left it at that. 

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The incident at the actual Ryder Cup was not so friendly though. At the time McIlroy had recently stopped dating Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, and fans yelled out ‘Sweet Caroline’ in an attempt to enrage McIlroy. Some profanities were also yelled at him. 

Following this up in 2018, there was some heckling after McIlroy and Ian Poulter lost a match to Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. The Irish golfer reportedly asked the fan to be sent out. In addition, after a key performance in a round, he turned to the stands and flaunted his putting skills with passion and some drama. 

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Let’s go on a segue and recap the Brian Harman incident briefly. At the US Open, this year, Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood put up a tough fight against Harman. One fan tried to get into Harman’s head saying Harman didn’t have the stones in him. Ironically, that made Harman pick up his game and outdo himself in the tournament.

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The question at the press conference addressed the heckling incident at the US Open, where Brian Harman became the target of a fan. It touched upon how McIlroy had faced rogue fans as well in the past. The question focused on whether the fans might go too far in the Ryder Cup this year, in McIlroy’s opinion.

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Rory McIlroy is not concerned about hecklers

McIlroy spoke with a straight face that perhaps carried the hint of a smile. We couldn’t tell. He said, “That’s all part of the Ryder Cup.” He opined that it didn’t really happen much in the golf world apart from the Ryder Cup. However, he also added an afterthought and said, “But there’s certainly a line.”

He sounded positive that most fans were aware of and acknowledged that “line.” McIlroy ended the discussion on the topic by quoting someone who told him, “If you want to be part of the circus, you have to put up with the clowns.”

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We are quite eager to see if history repeats itself this year. McIlroy sure appears calm and collected enough to let them slide. We’ll see how things turn out!

Watch this story | ‘Ryder Cup is Better Than This’: Charley Hull’s BFF Becomes the Laughingstock at the Solheim Cup as the $349.56M Giant Suffers With Subpar Performance

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Written by:

Vignesh K

305Articles

One take at a time

Vignesh joined EssentiallySports as a writer through the latest 'ES Draft' recruits. Even though he is just starting out, Vignesh has gone on to prove himself to be one of the most promising writers in golf. His passion for the sport is often reflected in his writing, especially when it comes to anything with LPGA star Charley Hull.
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Edited by:

Prateek Srivastava

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