McIlroy: European fans shouldn't retaliate in 2018


CHASKA, Minn. – Rory McIlroy made it clear Sunday night that he won’t encourage European fans to retaliate after what was a raucous week at Hazeltine.

“That’s just not who we are,” he said. “That’s not what we do.”

McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were repeatedly heckled and taunted by fans during a 17-11 loss to the Americans.

McIlroy heard everything from quips about his height to his former relationship to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

Lee Westwood said he was called a “turd” on Saturday – “which was the first time since I was about 12 years old,” he added, “so it made me feel young again.”

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The usual taunt directed toward Garcia was about his record in golf’s biggest events.

“I definitely know I haven’t won a major,” he said, drawing laughter and applause from his teammates.

McIlroy said that “at times, it went a little bit too far,” but 95 percent of fans were well-behaved.

“When you are teeing off at 7:35 in the morning and you’re seeing people on the first tee with a beer in their hand and matches aren’t finishing until 5 in the afternoon,” McIlroy said, “I know I would be done at that point; I don’t know what I would be saying.

“So it has to be expected. A couple of people out there crossed the line, but we’ll take it on the chin. We’ll move on and we’ll definitely not encourage anything like that to happen in France the next time around.”

McIlroy said there is no way to police the fan behavior – and especially not restricting the time that concession stands are open.

“Telling people they can’t drink until 11 in the morning, they are just going to go and buy six beers,” he said. “Can’t do anything about that. People are here to have a good time.

“Geez, I know if I was watching the Ryder Cup, I would want to do the same thing. I mean, I’d love to be on the other side of the ropes, giving other people abuse. It would be so good.”