Rory asks no re­tal­i­a­tion heck­lers

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

RORY MCIL­ROY (car­i­ca­ture) vowed yes­ter­day that Euro­pean golf fans will not re­tal­i­ate in 2018 for the ver­bal abuse un­leashed upon Europe play­ers by US fans this week at the Ry­der Cup.

Spec­ta­tors time and again 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 just not who we are. 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 the man­ner 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-back­ers’ venom.

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

Eng­land’s Lee West­wood missed a short putt to squan­der a half-point on Satur­day and lost the last three holes on Sun­day in sin­gles to US rookie Ryan Moore to sur­ren­der the Cup-los­ing point.

“I think the US team were em­bar­rassed about those com­ments,” West­wood said. “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 ob­scen­i­tyyelling fan after the sev­enth hole on Satur­day and abuse hour after hour over five gru­elling ses­sions. “This week, at times, it has went a lit­tle bit too far,” McIl­roy said. “But that’s to be ex­pected when you are tee­ing off at 7.35am and you’re see­ing peo­ple on the first tee with a beer in their hand and matches aren’t fin­ish­ing un­til 5pm. 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. We’ll move on and we’ll def­i­nitely not en­cour­age any­thing like that to hap­pen in France,” McIl­roy said. A poignant mo­ment came when McIl­roy tried to shield Span­ish team­mate Ser­gio Gar­cia from a ques­tion about the heck­ling, aware of the chants of “You have no ma­jors” and worse Gar­cia en­dured. “No I can han­dle it,” said Gar­cia, who has played 70 ma­jor cham­pi­onships in a row since 1999 and 73 over­all with­out a vic­tory. “I def­i­nitely know I haven’t won a ma­jor,” Gar­cia said, bring­ing laugh­ter and ap­plause from his team­mates for be­ing able to smile about the still-raw in­sults. Asked if tighter al­co­hol restric­tions might ease the ver­bal as­sault, McIl­roy said, “Not with their pissy beer, no, I think they will be all right.” “No, peo­ple are here to have a good time. I don’t know how you could po­lice that or limit that in any way, telling peo­ple they can’t drink un­til 11am. They are just go­ing to go and buy six beers. Peo­ple are here to have a good time.”

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