Danny Willett says his wife and family were taunted by US fans at the Ryder Cup

Brother’s criticism of American fans backfired on Danny Willett.

Image: David Davies

DANNY WILLETT HAS revealed that his wife and parents were the target of unruly American fans during the Ryder Cup.

Willett’s brother Pete wrote an inflammatory column ahead of the tournament, criticising the behaviour of American fans.

Both European captain Darren Clarke and Willett condemned the piece after it was published but the Masters Champion has since reversed his opinion and claimed that his brother ‘was in fact, correct.’

The European team was subjected to a hostile reception at Hazeltine with Rory McIlroy making gestures to the crowd in response to the taunts and requesting that a fan be removed from the course at one point.

A disastrous start on Friday left Europe in need of a miracle for the rest of the weekend and after trailing their opponents  9½-6½ on the final day, USA eventually crushed them 17-11 to claim their first Ryder Cup in eight years.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Willett elaborated on the foul treatment his family received while watching the golf:

“Unfortunately, you have got the odd one or two that don’t necessarily go there to actually watch the golf, which is a shame but that is what it is. I don’t think it is ever going to stop.”

“When you are walking around a golf event week to week, everyone is fantastic. You pitch up and play a golf event anywhere in the world and the fans are great.”

“I don’t think you should be walking around playing golf while people are saying things to your parents and saying things to your wife. I don’t think that’s our sport – that’s not what we play for and that’s not what we do and unfortunately that happened and it put a little bit of a downer on what was supposed to be my first really good experience of the Ryder Cup.”

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

“But going forward, it is what we play for, so we will hopefully be there in 2018 and being strong for Europe.”

Willett, who will feature in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this week, stressed that this Ryder Cup experience hasn’t sullied his view of the competition.

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

Ryder Cup rookie Pieters plays down Hazeltine heroics as he goes in search of Tour card

About the author:

Read next: