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Darren Clarke hits out at Danny Willett's brother for insulting American golf fans

Pete Willett has published some controversial comments.

Darren Clarke said the comments were inflammatory.
Darren Clarke said the comments were inflammatory.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTARY insulting US Ryder Cup supporters written by the brother of Masters champion Danny Willett was dismissed as “bitterly disappointing” Wednesday by Europe captain Darren Clarke.

Pete Willett, writing for the website NationalClubGolfer.com, described American fans as “those fat, stupid, greedy, classless bastards.”

Another section under the sub-heading “Bastards” alluded to “the type of golfer that’s a vice-captain for Team USA.”

Calling US supporters a “baying mob of imbeciles” and “a giggling group of reprobates,” he added, “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.”

That prompted captain Darren Clarke to find England’s Willett, practicing on the course.

“I showed it to Danny and he’s bitterly disappointed in his brother’s article,” Clarke said. “It is not what Danny thinks. It is not what I think. It is not what Team Europe stands for.

“Danny was unaware of it and he fully intends to speak to his brother and express his displeasure to his brother about it.”

41st Ryder Cup - Practice Day Three - Hazeltine National Golf Club Masters champion Danny Willett has attempted to distance himself from the comments. Source: David Davies

Now spectators that Clarke has praised for days could turn 18 holes into a nightmare gauntlet for Europe.

“The article is very disappointing,” Clarke said. That’s not the way that we view things. The fans could not have been nicer and better to us this week, and hopefully that continues.

“The article was beyond our control and Danny is bitterly disappointed himself. It’s up to Danny to speak to his brother and express that. I will let him deal with it between siblings. Danny will resolve that.”

US captain Davis Love said he “ignored the noise” by not reading the story.

“If I read it, I’m just going to get mad,” Love said. “So I just try to ignore it.”

He noted US crowds have been loud already, saying, “It’s four holes into a practice round and they are cheering and screaming. Just wait till Friday when it’s for real.”

Gamesmanship and other issues arose as well Wednesday, with Love and Clarke having settled some. Pin placements are done by the PGA of America.

“We were going to get out of the business of the home team setting the pins and the other team not knowing,” Love said. “It has been a more fair way to handle it. Darren and I have agreed on a lot of things and that was one of them.

41st Ryder Cup - Practice Day One - Hazeltine National Golf Club USA Captain Davis Love claimed he has not read the comments. Source: Peter Byrne

“I’m not going to pull — all of a sudden go 100 yards up on a tee, if we are behind, play the course longer — all that stuff is pretty much done with.”

As for mental moves between match rivals, Love said, “We talk about not doing it. Darren and I have a lot of respect for each other. We’re not going to try to pull anything.

“Letting a guy putt out a couple times, things like that, that’s part of match play and a lot of it’s done with a wink and a jab. We play golf together all the time. We’re friends and we compete against each other.

“It will be hard-fought but fairly fought.”

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