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There are plenty of candidates for ‘hero’ of the 2023 Ryder Cup, but social media certainly has a frontrunner.

As Luke Donald’s side wrapped up a comfortable victory over USA at Marco Simone on Sunday, one fan escaped security.

You might now know him as Colonel Sanders or Captain Lee, but we’ve identified the wild fan, and it turns out he’s… Scottish.

The 17th hole was the ideal spot for Rickie Fowler to concede his singles match against Tommy Fleetwood, as the fan headed straight for the greenside lake.

• Ryder Cup: Every European player rated

• Ryder Cup: Every US player rated

And according to X user Ross McCafferty, the man is a technology teacher from St Columba’s High School in Greenock.

McCafferty posted on X: “Was a teacher at my old school this fella. Mad as a f—–g brush.”

The clip went viral on Sunday afternoon, as the teacher, in an all-white outfit, sprinted across the putting surface, removed his cap and jumped into the lake.

Presenter Dan Walker posted: “Can’t get enough of this. Colonel Sanders absolutely going for it.”

Masters champion Trevor Immelman commented: “CANNONBAAAAALLL”, while other users wrote: “Colonel Sanders is loving life” and “Kentucky Fried Dipping.”

It didn’t end there, though, as one swim was clearly not enough when the Scot succumbed to peer pressure from the overjoyed home support.

• Twitter reacts to Europe’s Ryder Cup victory

Chants of ‘one more time’ broke out as the man returned from the water before turning around and diving back in.

For his efforts, the crowd backed up his attempt to start a ‘Viking clap’, which echoed around the penultimate green.

According to reports on social media, other fans followed and jumped in, but it was ‘Colonel Sanders’ who stole the show.

Ryder Cup


He even had Fleetwood’s caddie Ian Finnis worried for a second, as the Englishman appeared to act bodyguard before letting the fan run free.

The cause for celebration was the convincing win for Luke Donald’s side, who barely looked like flinching throughout the weekend.

Team Europe held a 10.5 – 5.5 lead going into Sunday Singles before running out 16.5 – 11.5 winners in the end.

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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