Leading Article: Uneasy Ryder

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The Independent Culture
AN EQUIVALENT of "whingeing Poms" needs to be invented for the Europeans at the Ryder Cup. "Sour grapes", perhaps.

No doubt Americans did behave in an ungentlemanly way in invading the 17th green at Brookline. Americans play to win and enjoy their victory. The English play to lose gracefully (or used to). The Spanish and French play to win or lose ferociously. Anyone who wants to witness really bad crowd behaviour should go to Wimbledon and see Tim Henman's supporters applaud his opponent's double-faults or witness the scenes when Real Madrid or Juventus lose a game they thought they would win.

As for Colin Montgomerie and his colleagues' complaints that their concentration was put off by the catcalls, they should try taking a penalty in an England- Scotland football game or before a French rugby crowd. It was not a week ago, after all, that the Americans were being criticised for showing too little ambition in the Ryder Club and too much concern for their wages.

No, the simple fact is that the Americans pulled a historic victory out of the jaws of defeat by playing better individually than their European rivals. To the victor belongs the spoils, and the exclamations. To the loser belongs dignified silence.

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