Willett expected jeers from Hazeltine crowd


Danny Willett says he expected a hostile atmosphere after boos accompanied his Ryder Cup debut on Friday.

Willett, the reigning Masters champion, was overlooked by European captain Darren Clarke for the morning foursomes at Hazeltine in favour of fellow rookie Thomas Pieters.

The decision came after Willett's brother made crude caricatures of American golf fans in an ill-judged article published in the week leading up to the competition.

Paired with Martin Kaymer, the 28-year-old then lost his Ryder Cup debut 5 and 4 to Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker.

"It was anticipated," Willett said of the difficult reception he received in Minnesota. "It was one of those things, like I've said before, coming to America is a tough one. They gave me a little bit more, but yeah, I think it was exactly what we thought it'd be.

"There was a few little shouts in there, and bits and boos, but hopefully they [the United States fans] are all following me around so the rest of the lads can do their business."

Despite the lopsided loss, Willett had some positive moments. He drilled a long birdie putt on the first hole and added another on the ninth, but received little support from his German team-mate.

"For me it was a tough day," Kaymer said, having lost 4 and 2 to Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson alongside Sergio Garcia in the morning. 

"Obviously when you get a pick, you try to do your best to contribute something to the team. That didn't really happen today. But at the end of the day, it's not really about me. It's about the whole team."

While Willett and Kaymer may have lost, Europe took three of the afternoon fourball matches to trail 5-3 going into Saturday.