Darren Clarke has expressed anger after the brother of Danny Willett used an online column to attack American fans in a supposedly light-hearted way that has spectacularly backfired.
PJ Willett shot to prominence by virtue of his comedic Twitter coverage of his brother winning the Masters in April. Yet in immediate advance of this, the 41st Ryder Cup, Willett has stirred controversy with an article saying that Europe “need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer, pausing between mouthfuls of hot dog so they can scream ‘Baba booey’ until their jelly faces turn red”.
He continued: “They need to stun the angry, unwashed, Make America Great Again swarm, desperately gripping their concealed-carry compensators and belting out a mini-erection inducing ‘mashed potato,’ hoping to impress their cousin.
“They need to smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives, and resentful children. Squeezed into their cargo shorts and boating shoes, they’ll bellow ‘get in the hole’ whilst high-fiving all the other members of the Dentists’ Big Game Hunt Society.”
It will be interesting to see how Danny Willett is treated by the home crowd when the Ryder Cup begins on Friday.
Willett, writing for nationalclubgolfer.com, also referred to US supporters as “cretins” and “fat, stupid, greedy, classless, bastards”. When posting the article on Twitter, Willett stressed: “I mean every word.”
Clarke, and Danny Willett, are seriously unamused. Europe’s captain said on Wednesday: “I just was made aware of the article about an hour ago. I haven’t seen it. As soon as I did, I went out to find Danny, who was playing in the last group this morning. I spoke to Danny about it. I showed it to Danny. And he’s bitterly disappointed in his brother’s article.“It is not what Danny thinks. It is not what I think. It is not what Team Europe stands for. So Danny was unaware of it and he fully intends to speak to his brother whenever he comes in and express his displeasure to his brother about it, because that is not what Team Europe stands for.
“I was very disappointed in it, as well, because that’s an outside person expressing their opinion which is not representative of what our thoughts are.”
Davis Love III, the US captain, said he was aware of the article. “I heard about it on the course,” said Love. “I took advice and ignored the noise.
“If you know me, I don’t even read my own press clippings when I win. If I read it, I am just going to get mad. If I read it, I’m just going to get defensive. So I just try to ignore it.
“The fans at a home event, both in Europe and over here, get into it. They are so excited. A big part of home field advantage is the fans. If we play well here and get the fans behind us then we have an advantage.”