Ryder Cup Diary Ryder Cup Diary: Fan upstages McIlroy, Stenson

A fan was the star of the show at the Ryder Cup as the first pairings were unveiled.

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As pairings were announced at the Ryder Cup, a fan took centre stage at Hazeltine on Thursday.

Challenged by Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson to make a putt, the heckler did just that.

The pairings were largely as expected, but Danny Willett was overlooked.

 

WILLETT MISSES OUT

Willett was overlooked by Europe captain Darren Clarke for Friday's foursomes.

The Englishman's brother caused controversy this week with criticism of USA fans.

The pairings were otherwise expected as Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed make a team to take on Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.

McIlroy and Andy Sullivan take on Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson face Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, while Thomas Pieters joins Lee Westwood against Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.

 

HECKLER STEPS UP

There are no guarantees in the Ryder Cup, none… well, okay, maybe one. That there will always be hecklers among the boisterous crowds.

Well, on this occasion one particular fan was pulled out of the gallery by McIlroy and Stenson on hole eight to attempt a 15-foot putt - that the Northern Irishman had missed - and there was even $100 on offer if he drained it.

And, that is exactly what the lucky fan did despite having grievances over the size of the putter.

 

MAJESTIC MCILROY FINDING FORM

McIlroy may have been upstaged slightly on that occasion, but it was all smiles in his practice round at the sixth hole.

The four-time major winner nailed a 100-yard approach shot straight into the middle of the cup.

Is this a sign of things to come?

 

SELF-SERVING?

If you are a golf fan the only way you will have avoided the controversy caused by Phil Mickelson's perceived criticism of former captain Hal Sutton is if you live in a cave.

Just to refresh the memory, 'Big Phil' questioned Sutton's decision to partner him with Tiger Woods at the 2004 Ryder Cup.

That led to a strong rebuttal from Sutton, who stated that Mickelson's decision to switch clubs and ball heading into the Ryder Cup was "self-serving".

But there is seemingly a happy ending with Mickelson apologising to Sutton for citing a particular example, admitting he was "in the wrong" for doing so. 

 

SELFIE-SERVING?

With that little distraction seemingly at an end, USA had time for a spot of selfie fun.

The PGA Tour's official Twitter account published a gif of the team taking selfies in front of the United States flag, with Rickie Fowler's effort - in which he is adorning funky sunglasses - the pick of the bunch.

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