Rory McIlroy has sympathy for Bryson DeChambeau.
The comments from McIlroy come after the PGA announced that any fan who taunts DeChambeau by calling him “Brooksy” (known enemy Brooks Koepka’s nickname) will be ejected and subject to being banned from future events.
Any Fan That Now Heckles Bryson DeChambeau With Brooksie Chirp Will Be Thrown Out of Tournament https://t.co/OOvtS9pG3Z
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While most fans, media members, and PGA players mocked the new Bryson DeChambeau rule, Rory McIlroy stood up for his fellow golfer.
Rory claimed that he can see the constant taunting affecting Bryson’s game, and that the whole thing has been taken too far.
“I certainly feel some sympathy for him because I certainly don’t think that you should be ostracised or criticised for being different,” Rory McIlroy said via The Guardian. “I think we have all known from the start that Bryson is different and he is not going to conform to the way people want him to be. He is his own person. He thinks his own thoughts and everyone has a right to do that.
“There are certainly things that he has done in the past that have brought some of this stuff on himself. I’m not saying that he’s completely blameless in this. But at the same time I think he has been getting a pretty rough go of it of late and it’s actually pretty sad to see because he, deep down, I think, is a nice person. All he wants to do is try to be the best golfer he can be. And it just seems like every week something else happens and I would say it’s pretty tough to be Bryson DeChambeau right now.
“I don’t know if anyone else on tour has spoken up for him but I definitely feel for him a little bit. I don’t think he’s completely blameless in all this, but at the same time I think he’s trying to become better and he’s trying to learn from his mistakes and I think everyone should give him a chance to try to do that.”
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Rory McIlroy would go on to endorse the PGA’s decision to ban fans for taunting Bryson DeChambeau.
“I think some of it crosses the line,” McIlroy added. “I think certain other sports’ culture has fed into our game and fed into the fanbase. People will make the argument that: ‘Well, it happens in every other sport.’ But I would say that we’re not any other sport and I think golf should hold itself to a higher standard. The players are certainly held to a higher standard than other sports, so why wouldn’t our fanbase be?
Colin Morikawa also admitted that he heard some things being said to Bryson DeChambeau during last weekend’s competition that crossed the line.
“I heard some things last week [at the BMW Championship] – I’m not going to say what – that were just inappropriate and it wasn’t right,” the Open champion said. “Our game is about respect. I get it, the world is changing but that does not mean you can just go out and start saying anything you want.”