Sep
29
2016
Baba-booey! I can make that putt
By Jon McCarthy under Ryder Cup

In between mouthfuls of hot dog and sips of pissy beer American golf fan David Johnson decided to heckle members of Team Europe for missing putts on the eighth hole during their practice round. Somehow this led to an endearing moment in what has been a rather strange buildup to a golf tournament — even by Ryder Cup standards.

After watching Andy Sullivan and Rory McIlroy repeatedly miss a putt, a fan decided to let the European players and surrounding gallery know that, given the chance, he would obviously make the putt. In what would be every hecklers worst nightmare, he was called out by Team Europe and then pulled out of the gallery by Henrik Stenson. When Justin Rose slapped $100 down on the green, it was on.

After commenting on how short Andy Sullivan’s putter was and asking if he could use Dustin Johnson’s instead, the fan drilled the putt dead center. The European players seemed to enjoy it nearly as much as the fan and both McIlroy and Sullivan tweeted about the putt.

Golf.com’s Alan Bastable tracked down Johnson, who was waiting for Stenson, Rose and Rory by the range to get the $100 signed — and of course, the Europeans obliged.

“I razzed them a little bit, and they heard me, which was insane,” he told Golf.com. “They brought me out, which is more insane. I haven’t fully realized what just happened, but overall that was a pretty cool experience, I would go ahead and do that again if I could.”

“I closed my eyes, swallowed my puke, and hit the putt,” he said jokingly. “It happened to go in.”

There will be plenty of interest in interactions between American fans and Team Europe this week after Masters champion Danny Willett’s brother wrote a lengthy diatribe about American golf fans for a U.K. website in which he said they can more or less be broken up into two groups: Filthy gluttons or vapid Lego men. Willett’s views might be shared by some in Europe but this display of camaraderie shows a truer example of how Team Europe — many of whom live and work in America — get along with U.S. fans.

Although with Ryder Cup matches starting tomorrow, this could be the last of the warm and fuzzy.

– Jon McCarthy