Steve Stricker has urged the United States fans to not “cross the line” and be “respectful to both teams” in this week’s Ryder Cup match against Europe.
Rory McIlroy had to ask for an abusive fan to be removed from Hazeltine during the last Ryder Cup in the US in 2016.
“It’s going to be rowdy. It’s going to be loud and pro-USA, obviously so we’re looking forward to that. We need that backing,” said US captain Stricker.
“Hazeltine crossed the line at times, which we don’t want to see.”
The incident involving McIlroy, who was playing with Thomas Pieters in a fourballs match, happened on the eighth hole and the Northern Irishman said he pointed out “one particular guy who said a few derogatory things” and “took it a bit too far”.
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Stricker added: “It’s a Ryder Cup. These fans have been pent up for a long time and they’re going to come out and get behind their team. It’s going to be loud, and we expect it to be loud, but again, we ask for people not to cross that line and be respectful of both sides.”
European talisman Ian Poulter says it has been “so far so good” in terms of how he’s found the US fans during the practice sessions at Whistling Straits, on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin.
“The US fans have been brilliant to far,” said the Englishman who is playing in his seventh Ryder Cup. “They’re wishing me well. Not too well, but they’re wishing me well, which is quite nice. That hasn’t always been the case.”
With six of the past seven Ryder Cups having being won by the home side – Europe’s win at Medinah in 2012 bucking the trend – European captain Padraig Harrington says it is not only home support that is crucial.
“The home captain gets a choice in how the golf course is set up, and he’s going to do everything he can in that set-up to get it to favour his players,” Harrington said.
“I think it has a big influence. Traditionally certainly it would be tough to beat the US on their home style of golf course, and we’ve shown it’s pretty hard to beat us in Europe if we’re picking one of our courses that’s naturally suited to our games.
“It really is about picking the right venue and also then styling that golf course to suit your players.”