AKRON, Ohio – Twitter has become such a popular way for PGA Tour and LPGA players to communicate directly to fans, but there are some challenges.
Rickie Fowler, who has more than 380,000 followers as @RickieFowlerPGA, addressed how he handles the “haters” problem in his first-person column (as told to Bobby Dyer) in Sunday's Akron Beacon Journal:
“On Friday night, after I shot an 80, one of my fans sent me this tweet: Nice round today pig. Maybe u should revert back to your old way before [winning the] wells fargo [tournament] & not act like such a **** to ppl.”
“I re-tweeted that one and let my fans take care of it.
“It’s funny some of the stuff people say on Twitter — you know, when they’re behind their phone or behind their computer. Some people seem to just sit on the Internet waiting to take jabs. I’m not sure where a lot of it comes from. But it doesn’t really bother me. In fact, I laugh about it, and it’s funny to see the reactions of my true fans and the way they respond to what other people say.
“Just before I went to bed, I tweeted, `honored to have so many loyal fans who greatly outnumber the haters.’
“I don’t respond to tweets very often. I get hundreds of hate mail versus the thousands upon thousands of true fans who are motivating and always there for me.
“As for being a rotten guy, well, I’m not sure rotten guys shoot 80 and then sign autographs for 30 minutes.”