CHASKA, Minn. (WCCO) — The Ryder Cup is expected to draw more than 200,000 people over the next week.
People heading to the international event caused traffic to back up for miles on Highway 169. Fans from across the world watched both the U.S. and European teams practice Tuesday.
It was a jam-packed day in the mini village, where people watched the U.S. and European teams practice, and on Tuesday afternoon they got a chance to watch celebrity players.
The weather was a bit windy, but it didn’t stop the Smiths from having Fun They came to Hazeltine all the way from Abilene, Texas, for their first family vacation — leaving behind temperatures in the 90s.
“It’s cold!” Lex Smith said. “It’s great — we went to Mall of America yesterday.”
A family of golf fans, they are taking advantage of all there is to offer so far up north. Bubba Watson even tossed a ball to the Smith kids.
It’s even farther from home for many of the 200,000 fans expected to walk and watch their way through the Ryder Cup, but for Austin Rennich of Maple Grove, a day at the Ryder cup meant the perfect excuse to channel his inner champion: Rocky Balboa.
“He shows up and I’m like, ‘You gotta be joking me,'” Austin’s brother Nick said, looking at his brother’s Rocky costume. “‘You’re going to drag me around golf course wearing that outfit?'”
Hoping to catch the eye of his favorite celebrity golfers, Austin may have ended up with his own fans on the course.
“Michael Phelps — I wanted to wear Speedo, but this was next best thing,” he said. “It’s pretty awesome for Minneapolis, and Minnesota in general, to get this. We’ve got the Mall of America, and that’s about it, really. Some sports teams — we’ve got the Super Bowl coming — and hopefully this is the start of some great things.”