'Brooksie' comment to DeChambeau could lead to fan ejection

Chris Solomon discusses the PGA trying to enforce a rule that would ban fans from yelling ‘Brooksy’.

ATLANTA — Fans who yell "Brooksie!'' to Bryson DeChambeau might be removed from the tournament and have their tickets or badges confiscated.

That also goes for vulgar or rude comments and gestures, or harassment of anyone involved with the tournament or other disruptive behaviour.

Left unclear is whether shouting "mashed potatoes!'' or "light the candle!'' is on the list.

It's all part of the PGA Tour's updated code of conduct, which was in works before the coronavirus pandemic shut down golf for three months in the spring of 2020, and then put in place this year as spectators began to return. A campaign called "Rep Our Game'' was rolled out ahead of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

This has become timely now because of incidents involving DeChambeau that stem from the PGA Championship in May. He and Brooks Koepka have accelerated a petty feud that began on social media and has spilled into the gallery, with most of heckling involving "Brooksie.''

It runs deeper, though. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said golf is only one of the sports witnessing aggressive fan behaviour after spectators being away from sports for so long because of the pandemic.

"This is about just a few bad actors. And for the record, this isn't about any one particular player or one particular incident,'' Monahan said Tuesday ahead of the season-ending Tour Championship. "But in some situations it's apparent that we have gotten away from the very civility and respect that are hallmarks to our great game.''

Monahan said the priority was simply to create a safe environment.

"We're going to be leaders in this space. We're going to show everyone how easy it is to enjoy yourself at an event while also respecting the athletes in the field of play and the fans around you, many of whom are families with young kids who have a chance to be lifetime fans of the game themselves,'' he said. "Quite honestly, we should expect nothing less from each other, whether we're at a golf tournament or elsewhere in life.''

Top players typically have local law enforcement walking with their groups. DeChambeau pointed toward a few spectators who were escorted away from his group at the Memorial.

Asked specifically if someone could be removed for calling DeChambeau the wrong name, Monahan said yes.

"The barometer we are all using is the word `respect.' And to me, when you hear `Brooksie' yelled or you hear any expression yelled, is that respectful or disrespectful?'' he said. "To me, at this point, it's disrespectful. And that's the kind of behaviour that we're not going to tolerate going forward.''

MONEY TITLE

Jon Rahm won the money title, just not the award.

That's because there is no award.

With his third-place finish in The Northern Trust and a tie for ninth in the BMW Championship, Rahm finished the PGA Tour season with $7,705,933. He beat out BMW Championship winner Patrick Cantlay by $67,128.

The Tour Championship no longer has a purse, only the $60 million FedEx Cup bonus payout, with $15 million going to the winner.

And the PGA Tour no longer has the Arnold Palmer Award for whoever had the most official earnings. That stopped in 2019, when the award was given to the rookie of the year. The PGA Tour now focuses only on FedEx Cup points.

Even so, the title is worth noting because making money has been a longtime measure of success in golf. Plus, Rahm is the first Spaniard to win the PGA Tour money list. It gets so little attention that not even Rahm was aware.

"I didn't know that I had won the money list and I didn't know that I'm the first Spanish player to achieve that. But I'm very proud of it,'' Rahm said. "It has been a very weird season, with many majors, many players playing very well. However, I don't know if it really matters when this week we play for what we play, the bonus of the FedEx Cup. I think in these days of the FedEx Cup, maybe the money list is less important than years before.

"In any case, hopefully I can win FedEx Cup and can explain what I feel with that.''

Justin Thomas won the last Arnold Palmer Award for winning the money title in 2018. Brooks Koepka won the money title in 2019, and Thomas won it again — for the third time — in 2020.

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