Ryder Cup: Shane Lowry debut tarnished by drunken 'idiots' in the crowd at Whistling Straits
"Some people are idiots, especially when they drink. Nobody turns into a genius drinking, and that's what they were doing last week. Especially if you were out in the afternoon matches, it was loud."
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 30/09/21 10:27am
Shane Lowry has hit out at the "idiots" in the crowd at Whistling Straits that soured the experience of his Ryder Cup debut.
Lowry made it clear that the majority of the home spectators in Wisconsin were well behaved and courteous as they cheered Steve Stricker's Team USA to a record victory, but there were many who aimed abuse not only at the Irishman, but at his wife, Wendy, as well.
The 2019 Open champion revealed the atmosphere was worse later in the day as too much alcohol consumption took its toll on a "small percentage" of the fans in the afternoon sessions over the first two days.
"I didn't think it was that bad until I asked my wife what it was like for her, and they got abuse coming around as well," said Lowry, who holed a 12-foot putt on the final green to win his Saturday fourballs match with Tyrrell Hatton against Tony Finau and Harris English.
"So it's not very nice is it, and it's not very nice for them to have to listen to this. But that was a small percentage of the crowd.
"The majority of the crowd - I finished my match on 16 on Sunday and I was walking back down to follow the other groups and I got a huge ovation off the crowd and in the grandstand on 16, that was pretty cool. And I thought I got on well with the crowd last week as best I could.
"But they are obviously a home crowd and they are going to be a partisan crowd. Some of the stuff is not very nice, but that's just the way it is. Some people are idiots, especially when they drink. Nobody turns into a genius drinking, and that's what they were doing last week. Especially if you were out in the afternoon matches, it was loud.
"It was hard for us, and as a team it was hard for us to perform our best because you stand up and you hit a three-iron to 10 feet from 250 yards and you don't even get a ripple of applause. You almost get booed for it. It's hard, but I tried to take it as best I could. I think I did, I think I performed okay.
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"I don't think it's going to be like that in Rome. We will obviously have the home support, but we'll be hopefully winning a bit of a different way."
Despite the issues with the crowd, Lowry insisted his first appearance in the Ryder Cup was "one of the best experiences of my life", although he expressed his sympathy for European captain Padraig Harrington following the 19-9 thrashing.
"I thought about it quite a bit on the way home on Monday, and I'm just so disappointed for Paddy to be honest," added Lowry, who was awarded one of Harrington's three wildcard picks for the contest.
"I'm really disappointed for him, I don't think he deserves the beating we got last week. It looks bad on paper obviously. It's hard because he's a very good friend, and that's what I'm most disappointed about last week is we didn't perform as a team for him.
"But as regards the week itself, I couldn't have envisaged what it would be like for me. It was amazing. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and it's the only thing I want to do for the next two years.
"I don't care what I do for the next two years now as long as I'm back in Rome to try to take the trophy back off them."