Rory McIlroy was subjected to vile abuse at the Ryder Cup yesterday as a faction of US fans taunted him about his sex life and break-up with Caroline Wozniacki.
As McIlroy walked to the 8th tee a male spectator yelled ''Suck a d*** Rory'' directly at the Co Down man, according to a number of on-course reporters who were following the match.
A video clip posted on Twitter showed McIlroy doubling back - with some fans urging him to carry on walking and others calling for the offender to be kicked out - and confronting the man before then asking security to remove him. Reports later suggested that had happened.
"Someone just said a few derogatory things I thought were over the line," McIlroy said after a third straight win alongside 24-year-old wild card Pieters.
"I tried to get him removed. I'm not sure if he was removed or not but these things happen.
"It is golf at the end of the day. You try to keep your utmost for who you are playing and for who you are supporting. That particular guy, who is obviously in a very, very, very small minority, just took it a bit too far.
"It's a tough environment but we expect that. You have to keep your concentration out there and it's been a long day and sometimes emotions run high."
He added: "It fuelled me a lot. The more they shouted, the better we played, so I hope they shout at us all day tomorrow."
Captain Darren Clarke tried to play down the issues but he admits some overstepped the mark.
"It's just the Ryder Cup and people are exuberant and enjoying themselves," he said.
"I'm sure that everybody will do their best to deal with it...people just seemed to enjoy themselves a little bit too much at times."
Clarke was asked about the matter again as he held a press conference at the end of the day.
"It's disappointing but I think you have 99.99 per cent of the crowd out there that are wonderfully respectful. They are patriotic, yes, but they are wonderfully respectful," he said.
"You're always going to have one or two idiots that say the wrong thing at the wrong time, and unfortunately that's happened.
"Overall the fans have been absolutely superb to us and it's unfortunate."
Asked specifically whether McIlroy might have been affected, Clarke said: "If you take a look at how Rory has performed I doubt it's bothered him. It's actually inspired him. He's played fantastic this week."
European vice-captain Ian Poulter wrote on Twitter: "The US players are policing the fans as they are embarrassed of there (sic) behavior. Shame some spoiling this..."