European fans outnumbered but ready to ‘make a bit of noise’ at Ryder Cup
Finding European fans at Whistling Straits feels like the equivalent of looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
But look hard enough and it is just about possible, in a sea of red, white and blue to find the lucky few who have been able to travel to the United States despite the coronavirus restrictions which have prevented thousands more from supporting Padraig Harrington’s side in person.
Standing beside the third green as Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton played their final practice round on Thursday ahead of the 43rd Ryder Cup were Stephen Carr and his father Padraig from Donegal.
“Where Paul McGinley’s people came from,” says Padraig by way of introduction, before adding that he played football with Lowry’s father Brendan “many years ago”.
“We used to live in Chicago and Stephen was born there but we moved back to Ireland about 20 years ago. We got tickets for last year but Stephen is starting work in New York on the 1st of October so the postponement worked out well.
“We have tickets for Friday and then I have to get my PCR test before flying home on Monday.”
While European fans may be an endangered species at Whistling Straits they have been trying to make their presence felt, with one couple spotted with an Offaly flag, the home county of former Open champion Lowry.
“It’s only when you’re walking in that your realise how few European fans there are so you’re always happy to see a few people wearing blue and yellow walking around,” Stephen said.
“We also saw a woman from Newfoundland in the merchandise tent and she said she was shouting for Europe.
“Hopefully we’ll make a bit of noise tomorrow and it has been a brilliant atmosphere so far. The locals have been very friendly and hopefully the weather holds out.”
The Carrs were also at Medinah in 2012 to witness Europe’s amazing fightback from 10-4 down and Padraig added: “Behind the scenes we are quietly confident and hopefully it will not be as tight as Medinah.
“We thought Justin Rose would be in the team before (Ian) Poulter or maybe even Lowry, but I think Padraig was always going to pick him and if he hadn’t screwed up on the last day (of the final qualifying event) he would have qualified anyway.”
Billy Horschel sets out to double prize money at event aimed at boosting diversity
The 34-year-old American hosted the inaugural Billy Horschel APGA Tour Invitational at Sawgrass in July.
Rory McIlroy claims 20th PGA title with victory in CJ Cup
The Northern Irishman put his Ryder Cup torment behind him to win by a stroke from Collin Morikawa.
Matt Fitzpatrick responds to Ryder Cup disappointment with Andalucia Masters win
The Yorkshireman was bogey-free in the final round at the notoriously difficult Valderrama.
Rory McIlroy two shots off the lead after sizzling 62 in Las Vegas
The Northern Irishman shot his lowest score since 2019 to take second place heading into the final round.
Rory McIlroy looking to kick on after emotional Ryder Cup
McIlroy broke down in tears in a rare show of emotion in Wisconsin.
Jon Rahm keen to win at Valderrama for ‘historic reasons and nostalgia’
The Spaniard is hoping to perform on home soil.
‘Stupid is as stupid does’ – Phil Mickelson criticises club length restriction
The R&A and USGA have brought in a ‘model local rule’ to limit all clubs other than putters to a maximum of 46 inches.
Top-level golf tournaments to be given option of imposing limit on club length
This could curb the big-hitting likes of Bryson DeChambeau in their continual quest for greater length off the tee.
THE CJ CUP: Vegas links that could help us hit the jackpot this week
The PGA Tour remains in Las Vegas this week and several players in the field have some home advantage which could prove significant.