McIlroy wants no retaliation

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy in action. Picture:REUTERS
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy in action.
Picture: REUTERS

Rory McIlroy has vowed that European golf fans will not retaliate in 2018 for the verbal abuse unleashed upon Europe players by US fans at the Ryder Cup.

Spectators went over the top at Hazeltine as the United States beat Europe 17-11 in the biennial team golf event to be next played in France.

“Definitely, first and foremost, we wouldn’t encourage any sort of retaliation. That’s not what we do,” McIlroy said.

“There won’t be [any] – and we will be making that clear. “We want to play this tournament in themanner in which it should be played.”

A difficult week for Europe became tougher when Masters champion Danny Willett’s brother, Pete, authored an internet article insulting US spectators.

The English golfer apologised but the damage was done and he was a prime target of US supporters.

Asked to describe his first Ryder Cup experience, Willett said: “S**t. Being honest. Sorry. Would you like me to elaborate? Really s**t.”

England’s Lee Westwood said: “I think the US team were embarrassed about those comments. “I got called a turd, which is the first time since I was about 12 years old, so it made me feel young again.”

McIlroy was faced with an obscenity-yelling fan after the seventh hole on Saturday and abuse hour after hour over five gruelling sessions.

“At times it went a little bit too far,” he said.

“But that’s to be expected when you are teeing off at 7.35 in the morning and you’re seeing people on the first tee with a beer in their hand and matches aren’t finishing until 4.30, 5 in the afternoon.

“I know I would be ‘done’ at that point. I don’t know what I would be saying.”

McIlroy and his teammates stressed that 95% of the huge crowds were respectful.

“A couple of people out there crossed the line, but we’ll take it on the chin,” he said.

Europe captain Darren Clarke praised US players’ efforts to help keep comments within respectful levels.

“Every US player and every US caddie was trying to calm some of those few idiots down,” he said.

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