CHASKA, Minn. (WCCO) — The most epic international golf tournament, the Ryder Cup, will be played right here in Minnesota at Hazeltine National Golf Club beginning Friday morning at 7:35 a.m.
The golfers on Team USA and Team Europe were officially introduced today in advance of the start. From the opening ceremony with its pomp and circumstance to a heckler who made history, Jennifer Mayerle has a look at the excitement that continues to build.
“Go U.S. lets win the Cup, go U.S. let’s rough them up, go get a birdie then get an eagle,” sang golf fans from Plymouth.
Fans flashed their support for Team USA all over Hazeltine National.
“USA, USA, USA,” chanted one group dressed in red, white and blue.
The official Ryder Cup tournament hadn’t even started and already a moment that won’t soon be forgotten.
The Europeans called North Dakota’s David Johnson to the putting green after he heckled Rory Mcilroy, Justin Rose and Andy Sullivan, when none of them could sink a putt on 8.
“This is the putter we missed with 3 to 4 times, you got to make it with the putter we missed with,” Johnson explained.
To his surprise, it went in and the gallery went wild.
“Struck the putt way too hard, but had the break right, so got lucky,” Johnson said.
From legendary shots to legends of the game, golf great Jack Nicklaus remembered the late Arnold Palmer during the Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony.
“Arnold touched every aspect of the golf world including the Ryder Cup, where he was a dynamic player and Captain. We all feel his loss and dedicate these games to his honor,” Nicklaus said.
The Captains introduced the teams who will play on this global stage.
“They are quite simply the cream of European golf,” Team Europe Captain Darren Clark said.
Team USA Captain Davis Love III introduced the Americans: “in Ryder Cup play, the magic number is 12, 12 strong.”
The flags were raised, and then on the momentous eve, words we all know by heart struck a chord in the crowd.
“When the planes flew overhead and the star spangled banner, the tears were just, I can’t even talk right now, just flowed,” fan Barb Boulware said.
Key information for Friday at Hazeltine: the first buses leave Canterbury at 6 a.m. The gates open at 6:30 a.m. with the first team teeing off at 7:35 a.m. There is room for 1,800 people around that first hole. Plan to arrive early to see the first pairings.