Sergio Garcia's wife wants U.S. fans to be nice.
Ahead of this week's Ryder Cup, Angela Akins Garcia made the plea in an interview with CNN while chiding past U.S. fan behavior as "embarrassing."
Akins Garcia, who is American, recounted a less-than-cordial fan encounter she experienced during the 2016 Ryder Cup held at Minnesota's Hazletine Golf Club. She told CNN that fans said "horrible things" to members of the European team.
"I understand cheering for your team but let's leave the insults out," she said. "I said to them: 'I'm here supporting the European team, I'm an American, and you're embarrassing me.' The people around us joined in and said: 'Yeah, you're embarrassing us too.'"
Akins Garcia added that she and the hecklers eventually hugged it out.
"So I said to the guys I want to see American fans being better than that, and they said ok. Then later on they saw me, they'd figured out who I was, and they came over and gave me a hug and apologized. I think there were four of them, we all hugged and it was all good."
Akins Garcia will attend this week's Ryder Cup to watch her husband play.
In case you're unfamiliar with the Ryder Cup, it's a biennial tournament pitting America's best golfers against a team of Europe's finest. The location of the tournament alternates between the U.S. and Europe with Sheboygan, Wisconsin's Whistling Straights playing host starting Friday.
The competition is well known for its often raucous fan atmosphere in a sport that generally shuns such shenanigans. The international nature of the event courts enthusiastic fandom that has sometimes drawn charges of jingoism from European critics. Just ask the 1999 Ryder Cup.
Meanwhile, Garcia, a Spaniard, is historically one of Europe's best Ryder Cup performers. He's also done more than his share over the years to draw the ire of golf fans.
Take spitting in the cup after a missed putt at the 2007 WGC-CA Championship for instance, the most infamous of his well-documented on-course tantrums. He's also damaged greens and unleashed rage on sand bunkers.
Sergio Garcia’s meltdown in a Royal Greens bunker a day prior to his disqualification for vandalism work on five greens. Story by @SkySportsGolf fills in details. Translations welcomed! https://t.co/UoGmPtTOz4 pic.twitter.com/dQMDN7y2PC
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) February 4, 2019
Then there's blaming Tigers Woods' pulling a club out of his bag for his own poor shot. And his 2013 Woods/"fried chicken" commentary he later said was "in no way" intended as racist.
So, yeah. Garcia's made himself an easy target. And Akins Garcia wants U.S. fans, who have drawn rightful criticism of their own, to keep things civil this week.
We'll find out starting Friday how her plea plays out.