Marc Leishman’s wife, Audrey, has maintained a blog since nearly dying from sepsis in 2015. A quick scan of the site reveals her to be an good, insightful, reflective writer.

The blog, PSdontusetampons.com, is largely a vehicle to bring awareness to the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome and share Leishman’s near-death experience two years ago and what she’s learned since.

And if you think there’s something funny about/don’t understand her blog title, then you need to read beyond her post about the Presidents Cup.

Now, the article that’s placed Mrs. Leishman front and center in the golf media sphere: “This is not the Tour I know,” posted October 3.

In breaking down what Audrey Leishman had to say, we have to do a few things.

  1. Acknowledge her use of Daniel Berger’s quote to frame fan behavior doesn’t necessarily reflect her attitude toward the American team, and was really not the best stylistic choice.
  2. Acknowledge we don’t know 99 percent of what was said to her, to her husband, or to anyone else on the International team.
  3. Acknowledge Audrey is an American and she and Marc live in Virginia.

Here’s the Daniel Berger quote Audrey begins with.

“I mean, the goal from the minute we got out here was to just crush them as bad as we can and … I hope we close them out today and we got out tomorrow and beat them even worse.”

She then writes, “The fans felt the same way. I wonder why when that’s what they witnessed.”

Now, comparing boorish fan behavior to the desire to step on your opponent’s throat is not a good look. Competitors are supposed to compete and compete hard. Stay within the rules, yes, but do everything you can to beat your opponent as badly as possible. Surely, that isn’t problematic for someone married to a professional golfer?

The Berger quote is ill-applied and really only serves to undermine the rest of what she has to say. So, let’s throw it out and look at the meat of Leishman’s piece, which deals with U.S. fan behavior.

“There were many times last week that I thought about what the kids were seeing,” she wrote. “The crowds booing for good shots and cheering for missed putts. The drinking at 7 am? Screaming “Big Easy” to Ernie Els and begging for his autograph and then yelling at his players. Heckling a wife for her beauty and then her husband for his play. I was thankful my boys weren’t there to see the way people were treating their daddy. Their hero. My parents could simply turn the television off.”

Again, we don’t know the full extent of what was said to Audrey, to Marc, or what she overheard. It has to be said, however, that the offenses she chose to write about are incredibly minor by sporting event standards.

“Someone yelled “Blooming Onion!” to Marc. Check yourself and your facts because that’s not Australian in the least. Another yelled, “avocado!” at him. I feel sorry for you because if you don’t understand how delicious an avocado is, then you are living a sad, sad life. “You eat cereal with a fork!” Oh friend, maybe that’s actually you who does that, because how would you even think to say that? I understand that this was not every fan.”

Here’s the simplest take on Leishman’s complaints: the Ryder and Presidents Cups are not golf tournaments. They are sporting events. There’s more similarity in fan behavior at a New York Rangers game and the Presidents Cup contested just across the Hudson in New Jersey than the Northern Trust, which was contested in the same area earlier this year.

It’s tough to make an argument in favor of body snarking and other below-the-belt fan comments. That said, it is, and has been, a reality a sporting events around the world for as long as I’ve been alive.

Should the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup fans behave more like fans at a traditional PGA Tour event? Clearly, Audrey Leishman thinks so.

That said, there would seem to be a risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Rowdy, partisan lunacy is part of what makes these team competitions what they are. The best entertainment comes when fan behavior is right up against the line of acceptability. And as long as this is something we enjoy as fans, there will be those who cross the line.

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20 COMMENTS

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  1. Anyone who says that ‘this is what fans are like at sports’ should go watch Murray vs Djokovic at Wimbledon or a rugby 6 nations match. Yes the home team/player is cheered on louder – but Djokovic’s aces are loudly applauded not booed, and the kicker is respected in rugby with silence. You want your team to win but you respect the skill and performance shown by the opposing team. The only things that should be jeered are foul play and bad refereeing decisions!

    Only sport this broadly doesn’t apply to is soccer, with its hooligan fans and primadonna toddler players – and that’s hardly a sport we would want to emulate now is it?

  2. Berger again, why give this, spit dribbling banjo playing half wit column space.
    This forum is a perfect example of the choice you have to express concerns about golf and why it’s struggling. Can you imagine the life “wifey man” lives in. Still not many choices when your IQ is single figures

  3. After the abomination of the last Ryder Cup GolfWRX praises and encourages ‘rowdy, partisan lunacy’?
    The behaviour of too many American spectators at the last Ryder Cup was unacceptable. Full stop. There is no place or need for abusive comments on the golf course, least of all when players are about to take a stroke. Your writer needs to have a long, hard think about this.

  4. So Marc earns a million dollar payday and exemption and now wifey thinks she can spout an uninformed opinion with impunity? Let’s help get that foot out of your mouth, wifey. First, go to a rugby game and pay attention to the lunacy of the crowd. It’s the same for team sports anywhere in the world. Second, learn your place and leave all things golf to Marc.

  5. When Jordan Speith says, and I quote “…the most respectful fans in the world…” to a European crowd after winning the Open, that should tell you what golfers think of the ridiculousness that has become this game.

  6. I mean try going to a college football game. I have seen whole beers thrown at opposing fans leaving the stands. My ex wife told me of D-Cell batteries being thrown. Trash talk in an event like this is par for the course.

    I am very happy to see her become healthy again and applaud her for bringing more awareness to what happened to her. Being a gracious loser sometimes takes being the better man/woman. And although I don’t know what was said, I didn’t see or hear anything that I thought was out of line. I’m a traditionalist in a sense but I also except that the game has evolved and is much better overall nowadays.

  7. She fails to realize that her reaction is exactly what the fans wanted. To get under the international teams skin. Seems like her sense of humor is as thin as her skin. What would you like Mrs. Leishman? A pitty party? Mercy rule? Participation trophy? You should expect so much entering hostile terrority, that’s why home teams have an advantage. Maybe one day you’ll realize fans is short for fanatics and these fanatics are the reason you’re eating caviar and sipping champagne.

  8. The problem with fans behaving like fans at a traditional PGA Tour event is that these two tournaments are not traditional PGA Tour events and are treated as such. Fans get crazy and the euros do it to us when we cross the pond. Its the nature of competition. She needs to lighten up and realize that when country flags are on the line, the competition is fierce and so are the fans that attend.

  9. In my opinion it is a mistake to compare the Presidents/Ryder Cups with other sporting events. You should compare them when held in the US versus elsewhere, then you would see a very big difference. American fans are much less respectful than their counterparts and that’s pretty much undisputed.
    Besides, when Paul Casey said he hated the Americans in the heat of the moment, pretty much everyone crucified him. So much so that he had to make a public statement saying those were unfortunate words. Now, Berger’s comments are OK… See.s like Americans tend to be overlenient with their own. Just my 2ct.

  10. These are once a year exhibitions that don’t pay anything. If you don’t like it don’t show up. These things aren’t going to get more civilized going forward. IMO the conversation should be just making sure this kind of stuff doesn’t bleed into the regular tour events.

  11. Sounds like she needs to get outside her private country club lifestyle once in a while. Has she ever been to another professional sporting event including a regular PGA event, college game, or even an international soccer or rugby match? The presidents cup was tame in comparison.

    I dont think she understands why someone would yell avocado. Its a stupid comment to get the player to think about something other than their game, and judging by the score, it worked.

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