So, reigning Masters champion Danny Willett had the unpleasant task this past week of having to apologize for an article written by his brother prior to the Ryder Cup, where his brother basically trashed American golf fans.
And, let’s be honest, “trashed” is actually putting it mildly considering what Danny Willett’s brother, Pete, wrote in his piece the National Club Golfer.
Just in case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from Pete Willett’s story, entitled “Pete Willett: I ain’t partisan, he’s my brother…”:
“The Ryder Cup is my favorite event on the golfing calendar. It is three days of relentless distraction from the usual toil of planning lessons, marking work, and weeping silently,” Pete Willett wrote. “From the first tee to the final putt, it all matters. It matters so much that an uncomfortable, anti-American sentiment has started to bubble deep inside.”
For him to say that it has “started to bubble deep from inside” is somewhat disingenuous.
Clearly his anti-American sentiment is on full display.
In his piece, Pete Willett describes several “types” of golfers such as “The Beautiful,” “The Brilliant,” “The Bland,” “The Brainless” and “The Boisterous.”
But he also describes “The Bastards.”
“You don’t want them to do anything; the type of student that will plan maliciously and destroy indiscriminately – the type of golfer that is a vice-captain for Team USA,” Pete Willett wrote. “Everyone is a combination of two of these categories, with one usually being prevalent. For (European Ryder Cup Captain) Darren Clarke to have the biggest influence on Friday and Saturday, he must select the most mutually beneficial partnerships from the plethora of possibilities. That is no easy task.”
Pete Willett then turns his attention to golf fans and their impact on the sport.
“The team that is victorious on Sunday will be able to attribute their success to three factors: the influence the captains will have on their players, the influence the players will have on each other, and the influence the crowd will have on everyone,” he wrote. “Team USA have only won five of the last 16 Ryder Cups. Four of those five victories have come on home soil. 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.”
Now, that’s insulting, but that’s nothing compared to where Pete Willett is headed.
“Like one of those brainless bastards from your childhood, the one that pulled down your shorts during the school’s Christmas assembly (f**k you, Paul Jennings), they only have the courage to keg you if they’re backed up by a giggling group of reprobates,” Pete Willett wrote. “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.”
Wow. Don’t hold anything back, Pete.
“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,” Pete Willett wrote. “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.”
Bam. Pete is definitely not pulling any punches.
“Team Europe need to silence these cretins quickly,” Pete Willett wrote. “Whether it is the captain, the players, or the crowd, it is the influence they exert that will decide the outcome. During my 33 years as an avid sports watcher, I have never cared more about the result of a single event. I am desperate for a win. Such desperation can lead to puerile outbursts. A more immature mind than mine might resort to petty insults or unflattering generalizations. I’m realistic enough to admit that I will struggle to resist the occasional capitalized tweet (I’ll keep the syllable count low for the sake of the dim Yanks). But it will be far more effective if it is the European players that do all the talking. Darren Clarke needs to pick his pairs carefully, they need to support each other intelligently, and the crowd needs to be dealt with swiftly.”
In other words, the Europeans need to put a lid on American golf fans.
“If these things happen, Europe will win, and I’ll try to support gracefully by embracing the same sense of fair-mindedness that has permeated this unbiased article,” Pete Willett wrote. “If not, the Americans will claim their second victory this century… those fat, stupid, greedy, classless, bastards.”
So, what was Danny Willett’s reaction to his brother’s comments?
Soon after the article was published, Danny Willett told the international media that he had spoken to his brother and was “obviously disappointed in what was said and what was written about the American fans, that obviously took me under their wing fantastically (at The Masters) back in April.”
In addition, European captain Darren Clarke stated that “it is not what Danny thinks. It is not what I think. It is not what Team Europe stands for.”
However, Pete Willett didn’t back down.
He insisted that his article was a tongue-in-cheek rant at the US golf public and later tweeted, “Sorry to any American followers… but I mean every word. COME ON.”
No matter how American golf fans my feel about Pete Willett and his outlandish comments, his words shouldn’t be used to punish golfer Danny Willett.
After all, we’ve all had relatives that have embarrassed us.
Just ask former President Jimmy Carter about his younger brother, Billy Carter.
Many will remember Billy Carter and his need to promote his own image, along with his brew, Billy Beer, while his brother was president.
“I got a red neck, white socks, and Blue Ribbon beer,” Billy Carter told the press when reporters came visiting Georgia back in the 1970s.
When asked about his family, Billy Carter said, “My mother went into the Peace Corps when she was 68. My one sister is a motorcycle freak, my other sister is a Holy Roller evangelist and my brother is running for president. I’m the only sane one in the family.”
After being elected, President Jimmy Carter had no choice but to describe Billy Carter as “something of a country philosopher,” and that “he took advantage of the chance to present the other side of the Carter family — not so serious, full of fun and laughter.”
And then, of course, there is Bill Clinton’s half brother, Roger Clinton, Jr., who was allegedly given the codename “Headache” by the U.S. Secret Service because of his controversial behavior
So, Americans aren’t oblivious to brothers behaving badly.
It’s just a shame that such behavior would get center stage during the same week that many American golfers were mourning the loss of one of this country’s greatest golfers, “The King” Arnold Palmer.
If nothing else, Pete Willett should have respected Palmer’s legacy enough not to publicize his hatred of American golf fans this past week.
But, regardless of his brother’s actions, Danny Willett should not be criticized.
After all, we all know that you can’t choose your family.