Poulter, Bradley ham it up with fans at Ryder Cup
29 Sep 2012 - 15:19:17
Ian Poulter and Bubba Watson worked the crowd, urging them to make as much noise as possible as they teed off to start the second day of the 39th Ryder Cup.
Europe's Poulter hammered the first drive of the day but not before he joked around with the crowd that packed the temporary stands and stood 10 deep around the first tee box in front of the clubhouse at the Medinah Country Club.
Poulter, wearing a purple shirt and gray pants, waved both arms in the air as he got ready to swing asking the European supporters to make as much noise as possible on the drive which landed in a fairway bunker.
They did, chanting "Oles, Oles" but they were eventually drowned out by thunderous roars of "U-S-A, U-S-A" from the partisan American gallery.
The US fans got their wish when Bubba Watson stepped up to hit the first ball of the day for Team USA. The ear-splitting noise drowned out the sound of Watson's ball as it sailed into the left rough. Watson wore a dark sweater, gray slacks and his weapon of choice was a pink driver.
Overhead a fleet of airplanes wrote pro-Europe messages across the chilly morning sky, including a tribute to the late Seve Ballesteros that read, "Do it for Seve: Go Europe".
Another one appeared several minutes later that read, "Rorys Gonna Getcha: Go Europe."
Europe fan James Few, 41, said the reaction from the partisan fans on either side makes the Ryder Cup an enjoyable experience.
"This is the most special golf event in the world," said Few, of Bermuda, as he watched the festivities around the first tee box.
"The banter with the fans is fantastic. You can stand out on any hole you like and talk to the person next to you. The atmosphere is like a football match."
American supporter Mike Sowa, of Connecticut, said he is looking forward to following Keegan Bradley on Saturday.
"Keegan Bradley was so special yesterday," said Sowa, who works as a re-insurance underwriter. "He went from being a nervous first timer to a grizzled veteran. He kept pumping up the crowd. His raw emotion was great."
John Ayton, of London, said even though they trail in points, people shouldn't write off Europe just yet.
"It is going to be lovely to see Europe beat the US. It is such high quality golf," said Ayton, 51.
Chicago's Jack Patton was also enjoying his first Ryder Cup experience. He and a friend paid $200 each for their tickets on craigslist.
"It is such a great atmosphere," Patton said. "It is better than I expected."