What’s hard is iden­ti­fy­ing the line be­tween stalker and en­thu­si­as­tic fan.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Close Out -

na­ment. Christina Kim re­ceives a mul­ti­ple-page email about an­other player that be­gins,“I am not a stalker, how­ever . . . ”The au­thor then goes on a tirade about the in­jus­tice of his favourite player not be­ing given an ex­emp­tion in “her farewell sea­son.” Given what she’s done to grow golf, he ar­gues that she and Tiger Woods are the two most im­por­tant in­di­vid­u­als in the his­tory of the game. He in­cludes a pho­to­graph of him­self wear­ing a unique hat and writes,“If you need to find me, it won’t be hard.”

Harm­less, or some­one who keeps a bag of hu­man toes in the fridge? Prob­a­bly the for­mer, but Christina did what I would have done and im­me­di­ately for­warded the email to our com­mis­sioner. In the third round, the guy sur­faces, and our se­cu­rity team, wear­ing plain­clothes, ap­proaches him.They just kind of say,“Hey, what’s up? Just wanted to let you know that we’re here and that you’re our per­son of in­ter­est.” Right away the guy starts shak­ing un­con­trol­lably and cry­ing, say­ing, “I didn’t do any­thing! I didn’t do any­thing!” I don’t think they kicked him out but just took him some­where to calm down.

Af­ter­wards, I hear from the player that she knows the guy, that he’s been writ­ing let­ters to her for years. She’s so gra­cious. I don’t want to call this per­son naïve, but she never sees the bad in peo­ple. If I read “farewell sea­son” from some­one like that, I’m in­clined to con­sider the po­ten­tial and aw­ful other mean­ings.

I know lots of play­ers who have been “pur­sued” on so­cial me­dia.The same stranger com­ment­ing on her ev­ery In­sta­gram pic­ture for months, then sud­denly in­tro­duc­ing him­self at a tour­na­ment. I can see how that be­hav­iour is be­com­ing less taboo as our world grows more connected, but it will al­ways raise my guard.


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