Tiger wants crack down on unruly crowds
Tiger Woods wants tournament organisers to crack down on unruly behaviour by spectators, saying the problem is becoming more widespread as the game's fan base grows.
The world number one clinched his first title of the year at the WGC-World Match Play Championship at La Costa, California on Sunday during which a heckler had to be ejected from the course.
"It's unfortunate when that happens but it's one of those things that is occurring more and more because we're bringing more and more fans into the game of golf," the 28-year-old Woods told reporters at Emirates Golf Club on Wednesday as he prepared for this week's Dubai Desert Classic.
"I think it's a top priority for any organiser. It's something we should react to and put things in their proper place.
"Just like having cameras out there or cellphones going off, these things need to be dealt with and taken care of.
"Our fan base is growing and many of the spectators have never been to a golf tournament before -- they're soccer fans, (American) football fans or baseball fans. They're used to the atmosphere in their own sport but our game is a little bit different."
Woods came back from one down after 18 holes to beat good friend Davis Love III 3 and 2 in Sunday's final at La Costa Resort & Spa, where his opponent was rattled by a spectator repeatedly shouting out "No Love" during the afternoon round.
Love, the 1997 U.S.PGA champion, managed to identify the heckler at the 20th hole, and the man was banished from the course by organisers.
"He kept doing it throughout the match," Woods said of the heckler. "It wasn't just one isolated incident. The guy was doing it prior to that a few times, and pretty loud too.
"It's one of those things that I have had to deal with, but there's nothing that I can do about it. I'm out there playing and competing, I'm focusing on trying to get the ball close to the hole and making putts.
"When people stay outside the ropes, I don't have control over that. The marshals are trying to do the best possible job they can, providing an environment that's right for us to compete and play our best."
Eight-times major winner Woods hoped tournaments could learn from the example set by the U.S. Masters, the first of the year's four majors, and the 2002 Ryder Cup held at The Belfry in central England.
"I think it's great when you have tournaments like that at Augusta (the U.S. Masters) where the galleries take care of themselves," he said. "They take care of the people who are not acting proper.
"And I think the captains at the last one (Ryder Cup) at The Belfry did a fantastic job in providing an environment that this is a gentlemanly game.
"As players, we're going to go out there and compete and give everything we've got, but compete in the way it's supposed to be played.
"They (captains Sam Torrance and Curtis Strange and the players) did that in 2002 and the fans did a fantastic job at The Belfry. Hopefully it will be the same way at Oakland Hills."
This year's Ryder Cup takes place at Oakland Hills, Michigan, from September 17-19.
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