• Willett says sorry for brother's attack on US golf fans
• Schoolteacher P.J. Willett described them as 'imbeciles'
• "Not the thoughts of myself & of the team" says Masters champ
Poor Danny Willett.
As if the Masters champion’s week wasn’t already tough enough, with facing up to the prospect of his making his Ryder Cup debut on American soil, his own brother has intensified the pressure on him with an article which slates American golf audiences.
In his piece, which was widely circulated yesterday, Peter 'P.J.' Willett, a schoolteacher, described the US fans as ‘a baying mob of imbeciles’, adding that the European team needs to ‘silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling irritants’. He also described them as ‘fat, stupid, greedy, classless, bastards’.
Whilst some saw the funny side of the article, many took Willett to task over, not just the language in the piece, but also the timing of it.
Bearing in mind that he found fame and notoriety off the back of his brother’s victory at Augusta National earlier this year, above, during which he became an internet hit for his final round commentary, it could be argued that it is unfair of Willett to put out this piece this week, knowing full well the likely implications it could have on his world No.10 brother.
"I'd just like to apologise to everyone involved for what's been said" - Danny Willett
Indeed, Danny has already been forced to make an apology – both publicly and, privately, to US captain Davis Love III – for his brother’s inflammatory piece.
Speaking to the Golf Channel, he said: “I’d just like to apologise obviously to everyone involved for what’s been said. It’s obviously not the thoughts of myself and of the team and of captain Darren .
“I spoke to on the phone after I was made aware of what was said and what has been going on. I said to Pete that, you know, I was obviously disappointed in what was said and what was written about the American fans that obviously took me under their wing fantastically back in April.”
"It is tough to concentrate, because you don't want people to think badly of yourself" - Danny Willett
He added that the furore had also impacted on his preparation. “It is tough to then concentrate, because you don’t want people to think badly of yourself,” he said. “It was tough then to kind of get your head around everything. You kind of wanted to get off the golf course and hopefully get it sorted.”
On apologising to Davis Love III, Willett said: “As soon as I got done on the golf course, I went to see Davis, and me and Davis had a chat for a few minutes about it all.
“He took it very well, and I think he’s drawn a line under it obviously for himself and for the team. So hopefully everyone else can do the same and hopefully we can get on and have a great tournament.”
Read more -> Phil Mickelson takes a swipe at ANOTHER American captain
Love, above, had earlier told reporters at Hazeltine that he had no intentions of reading the piece. “If I read it, I'm just going to get mad,” he said. “If I read it, I'm just going to get defensive. So I just try to ignore it.”
His opposite number Darren Clarke, above, was even more direct in his views on the piece.
“, I went out to find Danny, who was playing in the last group out there this morning,” said the European skipper. “I spoke to Danny about it. I showed it to Danny. And he's bitterly disappointed in his brother's article. It is not what Danny thinks. It is not what I think. It is not what Team Europe stands for.
“I was obviously very disappointed in it, as well, because that's an outside person expressing their opinion which is not representative of what our thoughts are.”
Danny Willett's brother: Your thoughts?
What do make of Danny Willett's brother comments? Much ado about nothing or fame-mongering at the expense of his Masters champ sibling's reputation? Leave your thoughts in our 'Comments' section below?