For once, the result of this golf event feels oddly irrelevant, and luckily so given that the US is headed, at the time of writing, for a rare win over Europe.
Yet more bitter than any sour grapes is the taste left in the mouth by the Minnesota crowds. Here was TrumpWorld on the march, from tee to green, and it was no prettier or more diverse than you’d expect.
Apart from a wispily bearded Tiger Woods (a non-playing US vice-captain), it was a struggle to identify a black face in the 50,000 strong crowd. Staggeringly white, petulant and entitled, and aggressively taunting the Europeans, they relentlessly chanted “USA! USA!” to the tune – and with the same guttural menace – of a Trump rally’s “Lock her up! Lock her up!” at every mention of Hillary Clinton.
If golf were one entity with a head, it would be covered with a white hood. If it had a heraldic symbol, it might be the flaming cross rampant.
Nothing new there, you could say. In the States, as in England, golf has always been a preserve of the white male gentile who has defended the citadel with typical valiance.
I remember the excitement with which a Jewish classmate announced that a north London golf club had finally accepted his father. Some 40 years later in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David tries to pass himself off as a WASP when applying to join one in California.
What goes for Jews goes trebly, at the very least, for black people. Anyone who imagined that Woods’s emergence as the planet’s best golfer almost 20 years ago would change that was as adorably naive as those who confused Barack Obama’s election as a lethal blow to racial hatred.
Nothing flushes the racist American out of his hidey hole like the sight of Obama in a golf buggy, when they believe he should be serving mint juleps in the clubhouse. Whenever a member of the lynch mob right trots out the trope about Obama golfing while America burns, you can smell the “uppity” on their breath from the other side of the ocean.
They never whine about "The Prez" playing basketball, though he does that much more often. But, hey, hoops be what black folks s’posed to play, y’all. Golf isn’t, and they religiously count up his every round. One such calculator is a candidate to succeed him.
Now you may know Donald J Trump as the guy who fantasised about dating his daughter, or the crotchety insomniac who tweets poison about superannuated Venezuelan beauty queens at 3.20am.
You may think of him as the genius who brazenly describes not paying taxes as “smart”, or as a liar so pathological that he could claim to have been misquoted over something he said earlier in the same sentence.
If he is all of these things, and more, and worse, it would be wrong to overlook his valuable work as an Obama Golf Monitor.
In August, when floods hit Louisiana, Trump was shocked - shocked! - about Obama wielding his sand wedge on a Martha Vineyard’s course. The fact that his golf partner was the same Larry David, a liberal Jew, seemed not to assuage him. That same month, he tweeted that Obama was about to play his 300th round in office (rather less than a round per week).
If Trump hated golf, this would make sense. But he doesn’t. Trump adores golf. He is, at his own estimation, a great player (even if others accuse him of cheating by moving his ball from bad lies).
And he owns some of earth’s “greatest” golf resorts. One gave rise to the lawsuit in which he was accused of demanding that some female workers be replaced with more attractive ones. This he settled for millions, just as decades earlier he settled another discrimination suit about him refusing to rent New York homes to black tenants.
Almost lost in the recent flood of revelations about his financial practises, meanwhile, was one about golf. A supposedly charitable foundation named after his son Eric funnelled $881,779 (£680,096) to the Trump-owned golf resorts which hosted its fundraisers.
As much as Trump loves golf, we may assume that golf, as represented by the Ryder Cup crowds, loves him back. If three of those 50,000 Ryder Cup spectators mean to vote for Clinton, I wouldn’t eat my hat. That would be too easy. I would risk choking to death, as it fought for its very life, by eating That Thing On His Head.
Every now and then, a sporting event transcends itself. Jesse Owens at the Berlin Olympics was one. Mandela’s jig in his Springbok shirt after his Rainbow Nation won the Rugby World Cup was another. These were moments when sport was seen to stand for something larger than itself.
It would be fanciful to elevate the crowds at the 2016 Ryder Cup to that symbolic status (even if Europe’s failure at team events they usually dominate seemed a poignant commentary on Brexit). But hearing the chant a few hours before a peculiarly vicious and deranged Trump rally speech in Pennsylvania, “USA! USA!” echoing brutishly along the fairways told a tale of Trump’s America at leisure.
“I don’t play much golf lately,” the candidate regretted of the campaign’s demands on his time. One way of t’other, that ends soon. Knowing his distaste for any golf-playing president with non-white skin, he wouldn’t dream of returning to the course should orange become the new Oval Office black.
Only by losing to Hillary can he return to his spiritual home. God willing non-golfing America musters in sufficient numbers on 8 November to reunite Trump with the game he personifies so elegantly.Reuse content