Ryder Cup 2021: Jordan Spieth right to take US fans to task

It started with a chorus of “boos” when the Europeans stepped on to the first tee but quickly turned into what we’ve come to expect from US fans in a home Ryder Cup.

A fan holds American flags during the opening day of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.
A fan holds American flags during the opening day of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Picture: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

“Get in the bunker” and “get in the water” were some of the shouts that could be heard while, just before he got his record-equalling 11th appearance underway, a cry of “where’s your major?” was directed at Lee Westwood.

According to golf analyst Amanda Rose, some of the comments were even irking the US players. Jordan Spieth just gave the US fans s*** for the way they were addressing the Euro players. If I couldn't love Jordan anymore....,” she wrote on Twitter.

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Fair play to Spieth, a true gentleman, for taking that action because there’s no doubt that American fans are getting close to crossing a line at times when it comes to this great event.

Jordan Spieth walks across the course at Whistling Straits in front of a huge home crowd.Picture: Patrick Smith/Getty Images.
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In the Solheim Cup in Toledo three weeks ago, it was exactly the same scenario as Whistling Straits in respect of Europe trying to win a match in front of more US fans than normal due to ongoing travel restrictions across the Atlantic.

Yet, as US Solheim Cup legend Meg Mallon was quick to point out on social media, she didn’t hear “one boo or any other rude gesture” and said she “hopes it stays that way”.

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Alas, the horse has already bolted in the Ryder Cup. Hazeltine, the venue in 2016, was a hostile environment and Uncle Sam’s boys and girls look determined to turn up the heat on the Europeans here as well.

Don’t get me wrong. Supporting your team is perfectly acceptable, but golf in the US and this event in particular seems to attract an audience that doesn’t understand golf or its values.

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No wonder the likes of Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele were raving about playing in front of respectful British galleries in the Scottish Open and The Open earlier this year.

But, at this rate with US fans in the Ryder Cup, it could be a week from hell for the Europeans at Bethpage Black in 2025 in front of a New York crowd.

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