Robert MacIntyre revealed he was the latest player to be heckled by a gambling spectator as golf’s increasingly willing embrace of sports betting was put under the microscope once again.
Gambling has only recently been made legal in several US states, with the PGA Tour signing agreements with betting platforms as it looks to cash in on the billion-dollar industry.
There have, however, been concerns about the possibility of spectators looking to put off players during the round in an effort to help their bets win. Max Homa was heckled in August as he tried to make a small putt, leading to the ejection of two fans.
MacIntyre now appears to be the latest target, with the Scot revealing he was approached by a fan on the 17th hole of his second round during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
“This guy told me the amount he had riding on his bet,” MacIntyre revealed after his round. “I said to Greg (MacIntyre’s caddie) walking to the 18th tee: ‘Be switched on as this guy could throw anything at us.’
“There’s obviously gambling going on golf nowadays and some people ride a lot of money on it – and, unfortunately, he lost today. I actually talked about that to someone a few weeks ago, it might even have been Jon (Rahm) about the heckling on the PGA Tour.”
Rahm spoke out last month at the FedEx Cup Tour championship on the issue, suggesting that the problem was more widespread than many wanted to admit.
“That happens way more often than you guys may hear,” the Spaniard said in August. “In golf, spectators are very close, and even if they’re not directly talking to you, they’re close enough to where, if they say to their buddy, ‘I bet you 10 bucks he’s going to miss it,’ you hear it.”
“As long as it’s policed the right way and as long as there are measures put in place for it not to happen,” he said last month. “We’re all for people out here having a good time and being able to put something on an outcome, but as long as…