Willett should be left out until Sunday: Jacklin

Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:02pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - If it was down to Tony Jacklin, Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup captain, Danny Willett would not play in this week's matches against the United States until Sunday's final-day singles.

The 72-year-old Englishman, described by ESPN this week as the man who saved the Ryder Cup in the 1980s, said the Willett incident that blew up earlier this week was "a mess".

The Masters champion's debut appearance in the biennial team event came under the spotlight when his brother Pete made critical comments about the home galleries at Hazeltine National.

In an article published on a magazine website, he lampooned U.S. golf fans in a crude rant for which both Willet and Europe captain Darren Clarke later apologized.

"I think Darren was sensible keeping Willett out of it," Jacklin told Reuters in an interview referring to the player lineup for Friday morning's opening foursomes.

"Personally I wouldn't play Willett until Sunday. After that whole thing I think he should have a couple of very restful days.

"It's not his fault, it's the fault of one of his siblings, but it's a terrible blight on the whole scene. This was a terrible thing to do for the team, for Darren and for Danny."

Interest in the Ryder Cup was waning 31 years ago but that changed from the moment Jacklin led Europe to victory at The Belfry in 1985.   Continued...

Sep 29, 2016; Chaska, MN, USA;  Danny Willett of England speaks in a press conference during a practice round for the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports