Masters champion Danny Willett has been left red-faced by a magazine column penned by his brother ahead of the Ryder Cup.
Pete Willett, a 33-year-old teacher, has become something of a celebrity in the world of golf ever since a string of hilarious tweets sent during the final round of the Masters.
Off the back of that notoriety he landed himself a column in National Club Golfer magazine, which he has used to launch a diatribe against the American team, vice-captains and fans.
And especially the fans.
“For the Americans to stand a chance of winning, they need their baying mob of imbeciles to caress their egos every step of the way,” he wrote.
” Team Europe needs to shut those groupies up. They need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer, pausing between mouthfuls of hotdog so they can scream ‘Baba booey’ until their jelly faces turn red. ”
“They need to stun the angry, unwashed, Make America Great Again swarm, desperately gripping their concealed-carry compensators and belting out a mini-erection inducing ‘mashed potato,’ hoping to impress their cousin.
“They need to smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives, and resentful children. Squeezed into their cargo shorts and boating shoes, they’ll bellow ‘get in the hole’ whilst high-fiving all the other members of the Dentists’ Big Game Hunt Society.
“Team Europe need to silence these cretins quickly.”
He then went on to say that if the fans are silenced, then Europe will retain the Ryder Cup:
” If these things happen, Europe will win, and I’ll try to support gracefully by embracing the same sense of fair-mindedness that has permeated this unbiased article. If not, the Americans will claim their second victory this century… those fat, stupid, greedy, classless, b**tards.”
Pete Willett shared a link to the piece on his Twitter page, and at the time of writing the post is still in place.
Willett, a European Ryder Cup rookie this year, has been hugely embarrassed by comments which have clearly caused serious bad feeling at Hazeltine, and apologised profusely.
“I apologise. It’s not the thoughts of me or the team,” he said. “It was a bad article written at a bad time… [I’m] disappointed to be associated with it.”
The 28-year-old Willett went to apologise personally to Davis Love III, the US Ryder Cup captain, for his older brother’s article.
“He took it very well and drew a line under it and hopefully everyone else can do the same,” said the Yorkshireman.
European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke stepped in to apologise on behalf of the team.
“I was just made aware of the article about an hour ago,” Clarke said when asked at a Hazeltine press conference about it.
“As soon as I did, I went out to find Danny, who was playing in the last group out there this morning.
“I spoke to Danny about it. I showed it to Danny. And he’s bitterly disappointed in his brother’s article.
“It is not what Danny thinks. It is not what I think. It is not what Team Europe stands for…
“The fans could not have been nicer and better to us this week, and hopefully that continues.
“The article was beyond our control, and Danny is bitterly disappointed himself.
“It’s up to Danny to speak to his brother whenever he comes in and express that. I will let him deal with it between siblings.
“It’s Danny’s brother’s opinion, not Danny’s or Team Europe’s opinion, so Danny will resolve that.”
The magazine itself clearly has no such misgivings about their biggest publicity hit in years, and announced that the elder Willett brother will be running their social media on the first day of the Ryder Cup.