Willett: Brother's comments have put a downer on my first Ryder Cup


Danny Willett admits the furore over controversial comments about United States fans made by his brother has put "a bit of downer" on his first Ryder Cup.

Pete Willett risked inciting American supporters with a series of remarks in an article for the National Club Golfer ahead of the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, which gets under way on Friday. 

He wrote: "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.

"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."

Masters champion Danny Willett, a member of the European team, issued a swift apology for his brother's comments.

And Willett was left to answer more questions about his brother's article, which the Yorkshireman says left him disappointed and did not reflect his own views.

"We spoke to each other about what was said and how it got interpreted and the reactions from it," Willett told a news conference. 

"I was disappointed in what he wrote and obviously, you know, it put a bit of a downer on my first Ryder Cup for the last couple days.

"Obviously I didn't write it, so there's nothing I could have said or done to have changed that.

"That's been the toughest thing, I guess. What was said was said and there's no going back on anything like that."

Willett, though, added that there has been no negative reaction from the Hazeltine fans thus far.

"Luckily, you know, it's not been too bad with the fans," Willett said. "The fans have still been great. 

"There were a few shouts out there, but you can expect that. Hopefully everyone can kind of draw a line under it, and we can come out here and play some golf."

Despite the poor timing and crude language his brother chose to use in his article, Willett will always stand by his family, but he admitted they may have to have a serious discussion about Pete's writing career.

"[I've] got to be relatively selfish in all of this and say that, you know what, I appreciate maybe it's [Pete's] career, but it's also mine at the same time," Willett said. "I'm sure we'll have a good chat when I get home this week."

Patrick Reed, a member of the US team, sympathised with Willett by saying it was already water under the bridge as far as he is concerned.

"There's a saying that I've really lived by. It's forgive and forget," Reed said. "But honestly, for me, it's unfortunate something was said, and not by Danny, because really, this is his first Ryder Cup.

"I know the last Ryder Cup, my first Ryder Cup, was a special and awesome moment. To have something kind of distract you from enjoying your first moment, it's unfortunate."