During the third round of last week’s BMW Championship at Olympia Fields, gambling fans clamored for Max Homa and Chris Kirk in an attempt to influence their putting stroke.
Homa had some choice words for the fan after he signed his card: “He was cheering and yelling at Chris (Kirk) for missing his putt short and he kept yelling that he had — one of those had $3 that I could make mine and I got to the back of my backstroke and he yelled ‘pull it’ pretty loud[ly]and I made it right up the middle and then I just started yelling at him and then (caddy) Joe (Greiner) yelled at him.”
During his pre-tournament press conference at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Jon Rahm said there’s a lot more going on than we might know.
“I feel like we hear it every single round,” Rahm said Tuesday ahead of this week’s Tour Championship. “It happens a lot more often than you might hear. I mean, it’s very, very present.
“In golf, the spectators are very close, and even if they’re not talking directly to you, they’re close enough where if they say to their buddy, I’ll bet you 10 bucks, he’s going to miss it, you hear it .
“So it happens more often than you think, yeah. But not enough of that, on the tee and down the fairway. I mean, luckily, golf fans are pretty good for the most part, and you hear the positives, I’ve got $20, you earn birdie here, stuff like that. But no, it’s more often than you think.”
When asked if the PGA Tour should step in and try to put a stop to it, Rahm agreed.
“You know, in a game like this where you’re allowed to have your favourites, but it’s not a team aspect, well, it’s not a home team against an away team, I think maybe the Tour should look into that because you don’t I don’t want it to get out of hand, do you? It’s very easy, very, very easy in golf if you want to influence somebody,” he said. “You’re so close you can yell at the wrong time and it is very easy to happen.
“So I think they could look into it, but at the same time it would be extremely difficult for the Tour to somehow control the 50,000 people spread out around the golf course, right? So it’s a complicated subject. You would not want it to get out of hand, but you also want the fans to have the experience they want.”
Rahm, who begins the Tour Championship at 6 under, four behind Scottie Scheffler (10 under), is +800 (8/1) to win the FedEx Cup.