'Ashamed' Garcia condemns hostile Hazeltine crowd

The nasty edge that crept into the Ryder Cup crowd on Saturday met with the disapproval of Sergio Garcia.

Sergio Garcia playing in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.
Sergio Garcia playing in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

SERGIO GARCIA SAID he felt ashamed for his American girlfriend as he condemned the behaviour of some supporters during the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

A fierce, partisan atmosphere has come to be expected in the prestigious biennial team event, but the traditional transatlantic rivalries threatened to spill over into outright unpleasantness in Minnesota on Saturday.

The majority of European players, in particular Rory McIlroy, were subjected to jeers and catcalls during their rounds.

The Northern Irishman had one member of the gallery ejected for verbal abuse, while another spectator committed the cardinal sin of calling out as Henrik Stenson addressed a putt.

Speaking at the conclusion of Saturday’s play, which left holders Europe trailing the hosts 9.5 – 6.5, veteran Garcia made no secret of his displeasure at the behaviour of some fans.

“It has been quite poor, I am not going to lie,” he said.

“Obviously it’s unfortunate because I think that 85 per cent of the people are great and I love playing in America. My girlfriend is American. But that 15 per cent that is really bad, it makes them look bad.

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“And I feel ashamed for my girlfriend, because I know how bad she feels when she hears all the things, but it is what it is. It’s as simple as that.”

Playing with a struggling Martin Kaymer, Garcia lost 2 and 1 to Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar on Saturday afternoon, the 36-year-old left feeling they had handed the Americans a valuable point.

“I just missed too many putts,” he said. ”Obviously I felt like I played great – we both played great. I mean, they played nicely but they didn’t win it. We kind of gave it away a little bit with all the putts we missed.”

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