What are sports if fans can’t engage in a little friendly chirping?
That’s how Brooks Koepka views the PGA Tour’s latest decision to limit fan engagement at events following the BMW Champion incident involving Bryson DeChambeau.
Koepka told reporters on Thursday ahead of the Tour Championship that golfers have all been the subject of both good and bad attention from fans at some point, naturally being so close to the gallery.
PATRICK CANTLAY DEFENDS BRYSON DECHAMBEAU AMID FAN BEHAVIOR, BLAMES PGA’S NEW POPULARITY INCENTIVE
“I mean, when you’re out there, you can hear everything, so everybody’s been told something or said something they didn’t like and, I mean, that’s sports,” he said, via the Golf Channel. “It’s not a sport if you got people cheering for you and against you. It’s kind of difficult to call it a sport, isn’t it?”
Koepka did admit while a fair amount of taunting is part of the game, there’s a line that can definitely be crossed at times.
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“I think there comes a time a place I think where you can see fan behavior get a little excessive. You kind of see it in the NBA a little bit. Maybe out here, as well,” he said. “But, like I said, everybody try to be as respectful as you can be. Players, the fans, everybody could use a little bit more respect.”
PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan said this week the Tour will remove any fans that shout “Brooksie” after a fan yelled it at DeChambeau over the weekend, in reference to his ongoing feud with Koepka.
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Other players like Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay have since spoken out in defense of DeChambeau.