On Sunday, around 500 spectators shouted curses and threw water bottles for about 50 minutes at a golf resort hosting an LPGA tournament in Kyongju. They demanded a refund of their entrance fees and transportation costs after the contest was suspended for a third day because of strong winds. One of the spectators even flashed an obscene hand gesture and verbally threatened a foreign golfer who had come out to sign autographs. Fearing for their safety, the LPGA golfers left the club in a hurry.
I thought it was only soccer that drove fans overseas to riot.
Violence at sporting matches always brings to mind one of the great untold sports stories: The Soccer War of 1969.
That war, fought for six days between El Salvador and Honduras, may have resulted in as many as 2,000 deaths. The principal cause of the war was political differences between the two nations, brought about by immigration and land reform issues. But it’s gone down in history as the Futbol War because the outbreak was immediately preceded by rioting at a soccer match in preparation for the 1970 FIFA World Cup.
As far as I know, there’s never been a golf war. It has, however, come up as an issue of national security. In 1457, King James II banned golf because it distracted young men from practicing archery. The ban wasn’t lifted until 1502.