Rory McIlroy: Fans cost Tiger Woods two strokes per tournament

By Jesse Reed

Tiger Woods is the most popular man in golf, and it’s not really all that close. He routinely deals with huge crowds, and oftentimes members of those crowds are less than helpful to Tiger’s cause.

Yelling during backswings is commonplace, as are the calls of “Get in the hole!” and “You da man!”

According to Rory McIlroy, all that attention is costing Woods, and not just a little bit.

“I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field. Like, it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around. So, whether that calms down the more he plays and it doesn’t become such a novelty that he’s back out playing again, because it’s tiring. I need a couple Advil just to … I’ve got a headache after all that.”

It’s hard to argue with that logic. After all, just recently Woods was victimized by a fan yelling in the middle of his backswing on a putt, which absolutely had a negative impact.

Golf fans used to be very respectful about the game’s etiquette. This is an extremely difficult game we’re talking about here, and it’s hard enough to maintain the razor’s edge of concentration needed to consistently hit good shots without people yelling at you as you’re doing it.

And it’s not just Tiger who’s getting impacted by unruly fans. Recently, other golfers talked about how frustrating it is to play the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale due to the rowdy fans there.

That said, it is clear Woods has to deal with more of this than any other golfer, and at least one of his peers thinks it’s really starting to wear on the former No. 1 golfer in the world.