The PGA Tour commissioner delivered a stern warning to fans ahead of the FedEx Cup finale
Ahead of the Tour Championship at East Lake, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan stated that any fans caught chanting “Brooksie” risk being ejected from future events.
The ongoing feud between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka has showed no signs of abating, and with the former continually finding himself in the spotlight, Monahan issued a strong statement on the matter.
Before taking questions, the PGA Tour chief took the opportunity to “address a topic that’s been top of mind lately for our players, fans, and of course, for those of you in the media.
“I’m talking about fan behaviour and the interaction with our athletes, when that behaviour crosses the line and what we should all be doing to address it when it does.
“I think we can all agree that we have seen issues as of late across the sports landscape where that pent up demand plays out in an ugly way. Golf is not immune from unfortunate and disruptive behaviour, although I would say that we do have the very best fans in the world.
“This is about just a few bad actors. And for the record, this isn’t about any one particular player or one particular incident, but in some situations it’s apparent that we have gotten away from the very civility and respect that are hallmarks to our great game.”
Chants of “Brooksie” in DeChambeau’s direction have ramped up of late, and it threatened to boil over at last week’s BMW Championship when the big-hitting American was subjected to the familiar call immediately after losing out in a six-hole play-off to Patrick Cantlay.
The 2020 US Open champion hit back angrily, telling the fan to “get the f*** out” before composing himself enough to take his own advice.
Asked specifically if yelling “Brooksie” would classify as harassing behaviour, Monahan answered in no uncertain terms.
“Yes,” he said. “And the reason I say yes is the barometer that we are all using is the word ‘respect,’ and to me, when you hear ‘Brooksie’ yelled or you hear any expression yelled, the question is, is that respectful or disrespectful?
“That has been going on for an extended period of time. To me, at this point, it’s disrespectful, and that’s the kind of behaviour that we’re not going to tolerate going forward.”
As part of the tour’s updated fan code of conduct programme, Monahan stated that spectators found to be engaging in said manner will be “subject to expulsion from the tournament and loss of their credential or ticket.”
“We have to be intentional about our expectations for fan behaviour and I believe our fan code of conduct does that.
“Comments or gestures that undermine the inclusive and welcoming nature of the game will not be tolerated, nor will any harassment of players, caddies, volunteers, officials, staff, or other spectators.”
DeChambeau and Koepka will be pulling in the same direction in a few weeks’ time when Team USA look to wrestle back the Ryder Cup from Padraig Harrington’s European stalwarts.
On the face of it, the rivalry between two of America’s best would appear to be a headache for Harrington’s opposite number, Steve Stricker, however the 54-year-old insists the issue has been “put to bed” and that he has been assured “the team and the country and everything else that goes into this is their top priority.”
Time will tell.