In golf, perhaps more than any other sport, there exists an important agreement between competitors and spectators. Baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer fans are free to yell all they want while the action is happening, but there is also a well-established player/fan boundary in each.
Tennis spectators are warned to be quiet during a rally, but they don't seem like the sort who have much to say anyway.
Golf fans, though, can roam the course during a major championship … maybe spend some time at a beer tent … and wander over to the ropes near a green, or tee box, or even just a wayward shot into the weeds … and be just a few feet away from golfers as the professionals attempt one of the things that requires the most precision and concentration in all of sports.
The agreement is that fans will behave. It's a tenuous bond — and one that appears to getting strained if Twitter rants from two golfers are any indication.
First up was Lee Westwood, who was in a sour mood after shooting a final-round 76 Sunday at the PGA Championship. He's in the conversation for the dreaded "best golfer without a major" title and apparently heard enough smack talk on the course and on social media.
He posted a series of tweets about Twitter "trolls" in the wee hours of Monday morning. In the light of day, presumably after getting a little sleep and hearing from those who care about his image, Westwood posted an apology that read, in part, "Sincere apologies to my sponsors and true followers for my earlier comments. It was out of order and out of character."
Ian Poulter, meanwhile, went on the direct offensive when it comes to fans. He tweeted: "I'm calling for @PGATOUR to step in & stop this shouting out right after shots. Message in to @PGATOUR with your thoughts. Tazer [sic] them?"
We'll agree with Poulter that the endless stream of "You da man!" is annoying enough over a golf broadcast and must be insufferable as a player.
But we're also guessing that neither of these gentlemen did themselves a favor when it comes to being heckled the next time they are playing an event.