One of golf‘s biggest stars, Jon Rahm, has called out the of gambling in the sport after an incident at this past weekend’s BMW Championship at Olympia Fields in Chicago.
The incident involved fellow star Max Homa, who was in a tie for fourth place at the time, toward the end of his third round of play.
As Homa went to putt, a spectator yelled “pull it” in hopes of forcing Homa to miss the putt. Homa instead made the putt and proceeded to sternly address the spectator. The fan was then ejected from the golf course.
“There was a probably drunk — I hope, for his case, or else he’s just he biggest loser there is — but he was cheering and yelling at (playing partner) Chris (Kirk) for missing his putt short,” Homa said. “And he kept yelling. One of them had $3 for me to make mine. And I got to the back of my back stroke and he yelled, ‘Pull it!’ pretty loud.
“I made it right in the middle, and then I just started yelling at him.”
Homa said he called the fan a clown with “maybe another word.” He also noted that caddie Joe Greiner was probably a little more direct.
Rahm spoke to media members on Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s season-ending Tour Championship.
“That happens way more often than you guys may hear,” he told reporters. “I mean, it’s very, very present. 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.”
Rahm stated that while the chatter is prevalent, he worries about it going too far.
“You don’t want it to get out of hand, right?” he said. “It’s very easy — very, very easy — in golf if you want to affect somebody. You’re so close, you can yell at the wrong time, and it’s very easy for that to happen.”