The Ryder Cup was an incredible event with a worthy winner, but was the rowdy and obnoxious behaviour of the American fans really put a dampener on proceedings.


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Is it my staid British attitude or was the behaviour of the American Ryder Cup fans totally out of order last weekend? I mean, the Ryder Cup is nothing if not for the atmosphere but is rowdy, drunken conduct really what we want to see on the golf course.

Of course, most of the fans were fantastic and added to what was an incredible event, but there were a few who, in my opinion, stepped way over the line between enthusiastic support and unruly behaviour.

The chants of ‘Sweet Caroline’ which greeted Rory McIlroy on the second day seemed particularly inappropriate, particularly considering the gentle treatment meted out to Tiger Woods by the European fans at Celtic Manor only months after the revelations about his private life became public.

Has the jingoism that has so regularly appeared on our TVs during the US election debate as of late, filtered down to the country’s fairways? Maybe not, considering the scenes at Brookline in 1999, but I was half expecting Donald Trump’s helicopter to opportunely descend onto the 18th fairway during the closing ceremony.

The European players certainly weren’t impressed by the reception they were given. Sergio Garcia said he was ‘ashamed for my (American) girlfriend’, whilst Danny Willett, who bore the brunt of the abuse following his brother’s comments that the US crowds were a "baying mob of imbeciles" tweeted that:

‘’Unfortunately some American fans showed that @P_J_Willett was in fact correct.’’

World number three Rory McIlroy was also at the receiving end of some pretty damning comments, ultimately having to ask for one man to be removed.

Praise has to be given to Jordan Spieth, who alongside captain Davis Love III, was seen shushing the rowdy crowd on numerous occasions.

What is it about American golf fans that grinds us quite so much? After all, go to any football game and the chanting is far worse than that seen at Hazeltine.

Alan Tyers of the Telegraph described the European players as spoilt young men following their complaints about the fan behaviour, pointing out that, “compared to the vitriol dished out by [soccer] crowds, it looks pretty tame stuff.’’

Still without trying to sound too prim, is that really the etiquette we want to see on the golf course? After all, the founders of the R&A would have been turning in their grave!

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