Ryder Cup choir sends players on their way with a smile

Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:21am EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - The Ryder Cup's unique atmosphere is in safe hands so long as its self-titled "Guardians" choir continue to attend and their lusty singing and bespoke chanting brought smiles and applause from both teams on Friday.

Unlike the boorish, often alcohol-fuelled drone of the "Barmy Army" that is now the regular backdrop to any England cricket match, the "Guardians" are cut from a different cloth -- literally.

Nine of them had commandeered the most prized seats in Scotland on Friday, the front row of the main grandstand right behind the first tee at Gleneagles, and they could not be missed.

Each sported matching bright yellow shirts and caps with a snazzy blue waistcoat dotted with golden stars on the front and a Ryder Cup and "Guardians" on the back.

Not for them a simple "Europe" chant -- these men had spent months devising then perfecting individual ditties for just about every European player on the team, and the rest of the crowd -- and the players from both teams -- were happy to sit quietly and enjoy the show.

"We've been doing it like this for the last three Ryder Cups, though the first we went to was 2002," Ed Oliver, founder member of the "Ryder Cup Guardians", told Reuters.

"It's good fun, we're mostly a group of old university friends and it gives us the chance to get together.

"Do you like the suits? My great grandma Hazel Oliver made them."   Continued...

Team U.S. fans celebrate during the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh