SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the Ryder Cup, the golf showdown between the United States and Europe (all times local):
Bryson DeChambeau is hardly the most diplomatic member of the U.S. team, but he knows how to read a room.
During a practice round Tuesday, DeChambeau crushed a 330-yard plus drive off the fifth tee and before heading down the fairway, he grabbed a sandwich off a table nearby set up for the golfers.
“What you got there, Bryson?” a fan called out. “Wisconsin cheese?”
DeChambeau held up the sandwich, weathered a few groans and finally admitted to a disappointed gallery, “No, it’s peanut butter and bananas.”
But he didn’t want civic-minded Wisconsinites to go home empty-handed. Raising the sandwich a second time, he promised — this time to mild cheers: “But I’ll definitely have some of that tonight.”
Rory McIlroy was at his fist-pumping, crowd-inciting best the last time he played a Ryder Cup match on American soil. Problem was, he lost that match, and Europe lost the cup.
McIlory, whose 1-down loss to Patrick Reed in 2016 was one of the most exciting showdowns in the event’s history, said he’ll try to tone down his emotions this time around.
“It’s a lot of energy just playing, then trying to beat who you’re playing against,” he said Tuesday, before heading out for a practice round at Whistling Straits. “If you try to beat the crowd, as well, it seems like a bit of an impossible task.”
McIlroy played all five matches at Hazeltine, and he also played five in France three years ago when Europe recaptured the cup. He didn’t disclose the plans for this year, but he knows he’ll need to have more gas left in the tank come Sunday singles this time.
“I felt like I sort of hit a wall on the back nine against Patrick that day, and I want to make sure that that doesn’t happen again,” McIlory said.
Play starts Friday at Whistling Straits. McIlroy has an 11-9-4 record in five previous Ryder Cup appearances.
Bryson DeChambeau says he’s had some “great” conversations with Brooks Koepka and downplayed the notion of any friction between the two heading into the Ryder Cup.
DeChambeau, who has largely avoided media interviews for the past several weeks, spoke to reporters Tuesday at Whistling Straits to preview the Ryder Cup.
He says tension between him and Koepka, much of it documented on social media over the past few months, has largely “been driven by a lot of external factors, not necessarily us two.”
DeChambeau said he had some great conversations with Koepka at the Tour Championship earlier this month, and they had dinner in Wisconsin on Monday “and it was fine.”
He said there “may be something fun coming up here moving forward, but won’t speak too much more on that.”
American captain Steve Stricker has also downplayed the feud and said it’s a “nonissue” heading into Friday’s matches.
To kick off Ryder Cup week, Europe produced an inspirational videothat reminds its players about the select company they’re in.
The video points out that only 164 players have represented Europe (and, before the team was expanded, Britain and Ireland) over the 94-year history of the cup.
By comparison, the video notes that 5,780 people have climbed Mount Everest, 570 people have been in outer space, 445 have won soccer’s World Cup and 225 men have won golf’s major championships.
“You sit here as one of the 12 lucky few,” the narrator says. “But you will only stand up and be counted if you know the true worth of your number.”
What follows is a pantheon of Europe’s Ryder Cup greats — including José María Olazábal, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Tony Jacklin — ticking off their spots on the list.
This year’s team includes Lee Westwood (No. 118), Sergio Garcia (120) and rookie Bernd Wiesberger, who is currently the last entry on the list at 164.
Europe begins its defense of the cup on Friday at Whistling Straits. The teams were on the course for practice rounds Tuesday afternoon.
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