• Peter Willett stands by comments about some US golf fans
• Conceded the timing of his original article was ‘atrocious’
• Brother Danny scored no points from three Ryder Cup matches
Just three days before Masters champion Danny’s Ryder Cup debut, Willett circulated an article which 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’.
“In hindsight, the timing was atrocious” – Peter Willett
While 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, resulting in a distracted Danny being forced to apologise on the eve of teeing off at Hazeltine.
The frenzy surrounding the piece clearly affected Danny as he returned pointless, while his family were also targeted by an, at times, rowdy US crowd. In the post-Ryder Cup press conference, he described his debut as ‘sh*t, really sh*t’.
But, now that the dust has settled on the match – which USA won 17-11 – Peter reaffirmed that the article was purely satirical and criticised the media’s reporting of the piece.
In a column for The Telegraph, he said: “In hindsight, the timing was atrocious. I wrote the piece over a number of evenings with a big push on the pre-Ryder Cup weekend.
“I was shocked at the tone taken by the British press” – Peter Willett
“Then the unimaginable happened. Regardless of my surname, when I was scribbling amendments in my notebook, between resisting the urge to trip my children as they continually ran up and down the lounge, I never expected for the Ryder Cup captains, ESPN, the Golf Channel, and the British media, to be discussing me.”
He continued: “The American press were particularly sensationalist in their reporting of the story. In a nation that seems gripped by post-truth Trump mania, perhaps I should not have been surprised. But I was shocked at the tone taken by the British press.
“Then the tournament started. Cue the baying mob of imbeciles. It was always nonsensical, often vulgar, and for a number who were actually there, deeply unpleasant.
“Messages flooded in talking of my ‘vindication’ as my words were ‘prophetic’ – some even claimed I was entirely to blame for inciting the crowds. People who share the condescending sentiment of this claim have less respect for the cretins than I do.
“They spent three days discussing the evils of my column” – Peter Willett
“I definitely focussed their ire (sorry Danny), but to suggest that they’re not accountable for their behaviour is just the soft bigotry of low expectations.
“What these ‘fans’ do should be fully acknowledged, and then either celebrated or eradicated. Instead, we cut back to the studio, and their contribution is breezed over with token comments about a ‘great’ or ‘rowdy’ crowd. They spent three days discussing the evils of my column.
To read Peter Willett’s article in The Telegraph in full, click here.
What do you make of the article by Peter Willett in his first piece since that infamous Ryder Cup one? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.