He said, he said. One day after Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre accused him of a lack of etiquette during Friday’s second round of 148th Open Championship, Kyle Stanley wasn’t too surprised to find a sizable group of journalists waiting for him at the conclusion of his third-round 73 on Saturday at Royal Portrush.
To recap, MacIntyre, 22, was angered when Stanley struck a marshal on the shin with an errant shot on the 14th hole, then hit a spectator, who turned out to be the mother of MacIntyre’s caddie, Greg Milne, three holes later. On both occasions, according MacIntyre, Stanley, 31, had failed to shout “fore.”
“Coming down the last, I wasn’t happy with what had happened on the 17th,” MacIntyre said on Friday. “He was just standing, watching his ball. And people didn’t have enough time to react when we shouted. So I said I wasn’t happy – and he didn’t really like my response. There were harsh words. It wasn’t too pleasant. But you’ve got to tell him it’s not right. He didn’t take it well at all.”
A day later, Stanley was given a chance to put his side of the story. And he did.
“I hit a ball right on 17 yesterday,” Stanley said. “There was a hard wind off the left. After I hit, several people on the tee box yelled fore – my two playing partners, my caddie and a couple of the volunteers. Marshals were signalling it was going right. Everyone knew it was coming. So to me, this is kind of a non-issue. I’m not really sure why he [Macintyre] decided to make such a thing of it.”
So far, so good. When pressed on whether he had apologised to either of his “victims,” Stanley pleaded ignorance.
“The first thing I did was ask if I hit anybody,” said the Washington native. “And nobody gave me an indication that I did. That’s the first thing you do when you hit a ball off line. When you get up there, you ask, ‘Is everybody OK?’ And that’s what I did.”
All of which sounds fair enough. But Stanley, perhaps understandably, wasn’t quite ready to let this go.
“When you paint somebody in a bad light, or accuse them of not playing within the etiquette of the game, you’ve got to be careful,” he said. “When you tell your story, you’ve got to make sure you have all the details. From what I read last night, he didn’t do that. He’s a young player. I’ve been out here awhile. So I don’t feel the need to be schooled on the Rules of Golf, or what to do when I hit a shot off line. That’s my perspective on it. I don’t know, maybe this is a good learning experience for all.”
On that, at least, we can all agree.