PGA – REACTION TO THE INCENDIARY ARTICLE BY P.J. WILLETT
When I first read Pete “P.J.” Willett’s sharp words about Americans earlier this week, I was stunned, just like everyone else.
P.J. Willett, the brother of top English golfer Danny Willett and this year’s Masters champ, absolutely lambasted American golfers and their fans in a column he wrote just days before the Ryder Cup started (an event his brother is playing in for Europe).
In his column, Willett outlined his recipe for Team Europe’s winning strategy ahead of the Ryder Cup between the US and Europe on American soil in a style that some have described as “cheeky English humor”.
The primary way he suggested Europe could win is to shut down the boisterous US crowd because Team USA has “only won five of the last 16 Ryder Cups. Four of those five victories have come on home soil.”
This makes sense. In this type of competitive event between residents of different continents, home field advantage is crucial and the fans can become very passionate. It also does appear that Americans play better in front of US crowds.
But, Willett used the opportunity at that moment in his column to insult American fans:
“For the Americans to stand a chance of winning, they need their baying mob of imbeciles to caress their egos every step of the way. Like one of those brainless bastards from your childhood, the one that pulled down your shorts during the school’s Christmas assembly, they only have the courage to keg you if they’re backed up by a giggling group of reprobates. Team Europe needs to shut those groupies up.
They need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer, pausing between mouthfuls of hotdog so they can scream ‘Baba booey’ until their jelly faces turn red.
They need to stun the angry, unwashed, Make America Great Again swarm, desperately gripping their concealed-carry compensators and belting out a mini-erection inducing ‘mashed potato,’ hoping to impress their cousin.
They need to smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives, and resentful children. Squeezed into their cargo shorts and boating shoes, they’ll bellow ‘get in the hole’ whilst high-fiving all the other members of the Dentists’ Big Game Hunt Society.
If that doesn’t happen, he said of US golfers: “the Americans will claim their second victory this century… those fat, stupid, greedy, classless, bastards.”
Now, I have a good sense of humor. Probably better than most. I can honestly say that I get a kick out of stupid goofy stuff and at the same time enjoy more highbrow intellectual humor.
I also do not like when fans yell out at golf outings. I never understood that and never found that funny.
My respect for European golfers and their fans is also equally as high as my respect for my fellow US countrymen. After all, I am a product of grandparents from at least 4 different countries who came either directly from Europe or were 1 generation away.
However, I am having a hard time just sweeping Willett’s words under the rug like many golf commentators have this week.
I can’t just categorize what he said as silly, harmless fun.
While I don’t condone US fans from yelling out, I think Willett went too far with his insults.
What gives him the right to insult any group of athletes and their fans, even if he possibly meant most of it in jest? (Which I don’t think he did.)
How dare he encapsulate excited fans looking forward to the competition in such a way as he did?
Maybe he doesn’t like our style. But, did he have to get so personal and go below the belt like that?
And, what about his chosen words for American golfers?
No, I can’t just dismiss this. I take this one on the chin as a sports fan.
I also don’t appreciate that Willett attacked Americans.
It feels as if he’s insulted my cousins. I mean, hey, I don’t necessarily like some of the behavior out there, but when such a high profile person as Willett generalizes about Americans in such a detailed way like that, he insults us all from this country.
Possibly the best way to counteract Willett’s words is to dish them right back at him. But, I’m not going to do it. I have too much respect for all golfers who play and their fans.
But, maybe that’s what separates out me from a character like Willett. I actually have integrity and respect for other people.
Shoot, he didn’t even have enough of it for his own brother to hold back his cheesy opinions until after Danny played, who by the way has received an “awful reception” by the US fans (predictably) and quite possibly ruined his rookie experience at the event.
That alone tells us about the caliber of this person: P.J. Willett.
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