Sport Europe welcomed with boos at Ryder Cup
McIlroy pledges not to react so much to a boisterous American crowd
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Rory McIlroy was the target of significant American hostility at Hazeltine in 2016, with the Northern Irishman intent on righting the wrongs of that defeat.'It just takes up too much energy,' says Rory McIlroy, laughing.
Team Europe were greeted by a chorus of boos from the boisterous home crowd as the 43rd Ryder Cup finally got under way on Friday.
The biennial match between the United States and Europe was originally due to take place last year but was postponed by 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, where Padraig Harrington's side entered as defending champions after their victory at Le Golf National in 2018.
Players from Steve Stricker's American team were welcomed by huge cheers from the packed grandstands around Whistling Strait's first tee, with supporters filling the venue long before the opening 7.05am tee time.
MARTIN SAMUEL: Poulter in full 'look at me' mode at the Ryder Cup
MARTIN SAMUEL AT WHISTLING STRAITS: He stood on the Whistling Straits podium, hand in one pocket, big yellow and blue watch on his wrist, looking for all the world like he owned the place. Which, for one week every two years or so, he probably does. This is Poulter’s domain, the Ryder Cup. At most tournaments there are a great many golfers whose insights and opinions count ahead of Poulter’s. He occupies the last place in golf’s top 50 right now. South African Garrick Higgo is No 49. There are 14 American golfers who cannot make the USA team while still enjoying a higher world ranking than Poulter.
Travel restrictions have limited the number of European fans in attendance in Wisconsin, with the partisan American support making world No 1 Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia feel very unwelcome as they stepped out onto the opening tee.
Garcia had the honour of hitting the opening shot of the morning foursomes session, with the Spaniard's drive nestling into the bunker around 40 yards short of the short par-four.
The crowds then let out a huge roar for Justin Thomas, playing alongside Jordan Spieth for the home side in match one, with the former world No 1 hitting a near-perfect drive down the right side of the fairway.
Rahm splashed out of the sand to the back edge of the green to set up a two-putt par for the visitors on the opening hole, which was enough for a share of the spoils when Thomas was unable to convert his birdie opportunity for the hosts.
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Ryder Cup: the United States sweep Europe and sign a historic victory .
© Reuters / Mike Segar Team USA, winner of the Ryder Cup 2021 (11-5) after the doubles of the first two days, L Europe's team knew it would be difficult for it to keep the trophy conquered in 2018 in France during simple matches on Sunday. In fact, the Americans have left no chance to their opponents and have delighted their noisy fans who had made the trip in Wisconsin, on the banks of Lake Michigan.