School teacher Peter Willett penned a column for National Club Golfer on the upcoming action at Hazeltine - saying “every team need to shut those groupies up” - which promoted his brother to issue an explanation of the remarks this week.
“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,” Peter Willett wrote. “Europe needs to shut those groupies up.”
The article added that Europe's golfers need to “silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling irritants” and “smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives and resentful children”.
Team Europe’s Willett, who was informed about the article during Wednesday's practice round, later told the Golf Channel: “I'd just like to apologise obviously to everyone involved for what's been said.
“It's obviously not the thoughts of myself and of the team and of captain Darren [Clarke]. I spoke to him [Pete] on the phone after I was made aware of what was said and what has been going on.
“And I said to Pete that I was obviously disappointed in what was said and what was written about the American fans that obviously took me under their wing fantastically back in April [at the Masters].”
Willett apologised in person to US captain Davis Love, adding: “He took it very well and I think he's drawn a line under it for himself and for the team. So hopefully everyone else can do the same and hopefully we can get on and have a great tournament.”
Clarke, who played in the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline when team-mate Colin Montgomerie suffered so much abuse from fans that his father left the course, also hopes the article will not result in a backlash.
“The fans could not have been nicer and better to us this week - hopefully that continues,” Clarke said. “The article was beyond our control and Danny is bitterly disappointed himself. I will let him deal with it between siblings.
“I was obviously very disappointed in it as well, because that's an outside person expressing their opinion which is not representative of what our thoughts are.”
In order to secure a record fourth straight victory, the article claimed: “‘They [Europe] need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and p**** 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.
“Darren Clarke needs to pick his pairs carefully, they need to support each other intelligently, and the crowd needs to be dealt with swiftly.
“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*******.”
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