Patrick Reed urges US Ryder Cup fans not to 'annihilate' Danny Willett over his brother's comments
America’s Patrick Reed has urged his own supporters not to “annihilate” Danny Willett and his family after Pete Willett, brother of the Masters champion, wrote an incendiary article parodying American golfing crowds.
Reed also said he had heard Willett’s family were thinking of “flying home” before the Ryder Cup even starts. He also expressed sympathy for his European opponent: “You know, there's a saying that I've really lived by. It's forgive and forget. And honestly, everyone has said things that have either been great or have made comments that they haven't really liked.
“For me, it's unfortunate that something was said, and not from actual Danny,” Reed went on. “Because really this is his first Ryder Cup. And I know it's such a special and awesome moment. And to have something to kind of distract you from enjoying your first moment, it's unfortunate.
“I heard the other day that his family was embarrassed; that they were thinking about flying home, because they are here this week. And you know, to me, that's something that just can't happen. This is such an important and great event. Yes, he might not have said some great things. But at the end of the day, you have to be able to enjoy it.”
Willett signed countless autographs during Thursday’s practice round but was also heckled after his brother described American crowds as a “mob of imbeciles” and ridiculed their diet.
One spectator shouted: “Hey, Danny, you wanna jelly donut?”
“I'm hoping that the fans and people can put that aside and allow the rookies to enjoy it and somehow forgive and forget and allow Danny to enjoy the week, because this is a special moment,” Reed said. “It's your first Ryder Cup. You dream about these things.
“I hope the best for Danny and their family and hope they actually enjoy the week and that our fans don't just completely annihilate them.”