Colin Montgomerie believes American golf fans are less aware of how to behave on the golf course than their British counterparts.
'I don't think the golf fans in America are members of golf clubs in the way they are here,' Montgomerie said to BBC Radio. 'At Wentworth next week (for the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship), most of the fans will be golfers and understand and respect the etiquette of the game.'
Colin Montgomerie has been the subject of U.S. fan abuse in the past, most notably at the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional when he responded with an obscenity to fans taunting him while he was in contention.
'The abuse from the American fans was my fault,' he said to BBC Radio. 'I regret one particular moment when I was leading the U.S. Open in 1997 at Congressional and I did the unthinkable and answered back.
'I made a mistake and answered back and I paid for it for about 10 years.'
Montgomerie was in the middle of a run of seven consecutive money titles on the European Tour. On the rare occasion when Montgomerie would return to the U.S. for a tournament, including three of four majors, he was heckled.
'I enjoy going back now and there's more respect for me there now than there ever was before,' he said. 'But it cost me about five or seven years over there, which when you think there's three major championships there, tends to cost you most of your career.'