September 30, 2016 / 10:06 PM / a year ago

Golf-Willett taunted by U.S. fans on Ryder Cup debut

(Note language in fourth para)

By Tony Jimenez

CHASKA, Minnesota, Sept 30 (Reuters) - American fans made Danny Willett pay for his brother’s midweek rant when they booed the Masters champion on to the first tee on his Ryder Cup debut on Friday, paving the way for a stream of taunts later on.

The Englishman and his fourballs partner Martin Kaymer also had to contend with an inspired performance from their opponents as big-hitting rookie Brooks Koepka and hot-putting Brandt Snedeker charged to a 5&4 victory.

Willett was forced to apologise after his journalist sibling Pete hit out at the Hazeltine National crowd, saying Europe needed “to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer”.

The player was greeted by a jeering gallery when he stepped on the tee with Kaymer but the opening hole was halved when Willett stroked home a curling left-to-right birdie putt from 25 feet.

The verbal abuse was not too bad early on but as the players made their way round the course, especially when they were close to the refreshment tents, the taunting grew in volume.

“Need more cookie dough?”, was one of the regular refrains, as was “hot dog” and “mashed potato”.

When Willett missed a putt on the fourth green, one fan shouted at the top of his voice “why don’t you get your brother to play it for you?”.

American vice-captain Bubba Watson leapt to the European player’s defence, shaking his head and barking out, “come on, we don’t wanna go there”. (Editing by Andrew Both)

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