Team Europe received a hostile welcome on day one at the Ryder Cup as the American crowd threatened to overstep the line in Wisconsin.
USA captain Steve Stricker has urged fans to stay on the right side of rowdy at Whistling Straits, with vocal support but respect for the opposition, after unsavoury scenes at the 2016 tournament.
The Ryder Cup is a traditionally intimidating and volatile event, where home advantage is a weapon and etiquette doesn’t matter quite as much.
However, players faced abuse last time USA hosted and early signs suggest the Europeans are in for another weekend of heckling after unruly scenes on Friday morning.
American Jordan Spieth stepped in and spoke to a fan making inappropriate comments as Europeans Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia stepped onto the first tee at 8am Central Time.
Each visiting team was greeted with boos ahead of the morning foursomes, which is to be expected on both sides of the pond, but some took it too far.
After Garcia’s tee shot was cheered into the sand, Lee Westwood’s opening drive was met by a cry of ‘get in the bunker’ from the stands.
Practice swings were mocked, with Paul Casey denying the crowd the satisfaction with a comedy pause at the top of his swing.
The dangerous third hole has water down the left, and each tee shot from Team Europe was followed by a shout of ‘get in the water’.
Rory McIlroy also saw a bad shot on the 2nd hole met with the kind of cheers which would usually celebrate an American putt.
Golf prides itself on sportsmanship, even at its fiercest event, and the 43rd Ryder Cup has seen the introduction of the Nicklaus-Jacklin award, given to one player on each team who best display the game’s respectful spirit.
Team Europe had turned on the charm during practice rounds, wearing ‘Cheeseheads’ and draping themselves in the green and gold of local NFL team Green Bay Packers.
But as morning coffees turn into afternoon pints among the 40,000 in attendance, the start of the delayed 2020 Ryder Cup will leave organisers fearing another disorderly event.
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