Masters champion Danny Willett is “bitterly disappointed” about his brother launching an astonishing attack on American golf fans on the eve of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.
Writing for a golf website, Peter Willett labelled crowds in the United States as a “baying mob of imbeciles” and also described fans as “cretins” and “brainless”.
The golfer’s brother, who describes himself as an “author, teacher and inexperienced father”, became an internet sensation as his sibling insights went viral after Danny won at Augusta National in April.
However, away captain Darren Clarke quickly distanced Danny and the rest of the European team from the comments in this article in the countdown to the 41st Ryder Cup starting in Minnesota on Friday.
“I was just made aware of the article about an hour ago,” admitted Clarke during his daily visit to the media centre. “I hadn’t seen it but, as soon as I did, I went out to find Danny, who was playing in the last group out there this morning.
“I showed it to Danny and he’s bitterly disappointed in his brother’s article. It’s not what Danny thinks. It is not what I think. It is now what Team Europe stands for.
“Danny fully intends to speak to his brother whenever he comes in and express his displeasure about it. I was obviously very disappointed in it as well because that’s an outside person expressing their opinion, which is not representative of what our thoughts are.”
Writing for NationalClubGolfer.com, Peter made his comments as he offered his opinion on the importance of Team Europe needing to quieten the home crowd this week.
“They need their baying mob of imbeciles to caress their egos every step of the way,” he penned in the article. “Like one of those brainless bastards from your childhood, the one that pulled down your shorts during the school’s Christmas assembly, they only have the courage to keg you if they’re backed up by a giggling group of reprobates. Team Europe needs to shut those groupies up.
“They need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer, pausing between mouthfuls of hotdog so they can scream ‘Baba booey’ until their jelly faces turn red.
“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.”
The European players were already set to face a hostile reception this week after Team USA had been drumming up home support through a “13th Man” campaign and Clarke was clearly angry that the US fans had been given some potential ammunition to aim at Danny on his debut in the event.
“The fans could not have been nicer or better to us this week and hopefully that continues,” said the European captain. “The article was beyond our control and it is one of those really disappointing things.
“Danny will resolve it. I will let him deal with it between siblings.”
Asked if he knew if Peter was due to be here, Clarke added: “My responsibilities are to the team and the 12 guys and their partners and the caddies, so I have no idea if his brother was invited or not.”
Danny later told the Golf Channel: “I’d just like to apologise obviously to everyone involved for what’s been said.
“It’s obviously not the thoughts of myself and of the team and of captain Darren (Clarke). I spoke to him (Pete) on the phone after I was made aware of what was said and what has been going on.
“And I said to Pete that I was obviously disappointed in what was said and what was written about the American fans that obviously took me under their wing fantastically back in April (at the Masters).”
Willett apologised in person to US captain Davis Love, adding: “He took it very well and I think he’s drawn a line under it for himself and for the team. So hopefully everyone else can do the same and hopefully we can get on and have a great tournament.
“I got made aware after a few holes today, it was obviously going crazy. It is tough to then concentrate, because you don’t want people to think badly of yourself.
“You kind of wanted to get off the golf course and hopefully get it sorted, hopefully draw a line under it and get back to what we’re doing.”