Golf: Europe's Ryder Cup fans drowned out by 13th U.S. man
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
(Reuters) - Europe slipped to a crushing 17-11 loss to the United States at the 41st Ryder Cup but they suffered an ever bigger beating outside the ropes in front of massive, raucous galleries at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minnesota.
While European fans have punched well above their weight over the past three decades with their witty soccer-style chanting when the biennial team event has been held in the U.S., they were drowned out at Hazeltine by overwhelming numbers.
Before the start of last week's competition, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III identified the team's slogans as "12 Strong" and "We Are 13", referring to his 12-man lineup and the American fans, the so-called 13th man.
Over the three days of competition, more than 150,000 mainly partisan spectators swarmed across Hazeltine, a minority of them misbehaving badly as they heckled the European players but the majority raising the decibel level to unprecedented heights.
"These might have been the loudest roars ever in professional golf," NBC commentator Johnny Miller, a double major champion, said during Sunday's television broadcast of the closing singles matches at Hazeltine.
"The home crowd was just crazy."
Kate Rose has watched her husband, England's world number 11 Justin Rose, compete in three Ryder Cups on American soil and she has never heard the European fans silenced so effectively, though their much smaller numbers were a significant factor.
"There was a lot less European support this year than ever before in my experience," Kate Rose told Reuters after following the progress of her husband from inside the ropes. Continued...