The Ryder Cup is about to begin; did you know that? It’s the closest golf gets to the World Cup, with its USA vs. Europe team format providing for a great, if lightly jingoistic, rivalry. This year’s edition does not feature Tiger Woods, except for as a kindly assistant who occasionally needs to be told to move, but it does feature some jawing about America’s boorish fans. Well, one of those fans got rewarded for his boorishness with his own moment in the sun, and he did not waste it.
During a Team Europe practice, fan Dave Johnson started heckling Justin Rose, insisting that he couldn’t make a certain putt. (No word on whether he used the word jackass.) Well, Rose’s teammate Henrik Stenson’s either a sporting fellow, or he had had enough of those shenanigans, so he handed over a putter and said, “You give it a shot.” Rose sweetened the deal with a cool $100, laid right next to the ball.
No practice green, no warmup shots, and Johnson had all eyes on him. If he misses the putt, Stenson has effectively shamed him — and by extension, America — as a hater who can’t get the job done himself. Good thing he nailed it, and covered himself in glory. Rory McIlroy even filmed it himself:
Johnson’s gleeful-yet-composed response to the moment seals it all up with a nice little bow. He told the Pioneer Press, “I closed my eyes, swallowed my puke and hit the putt and it happened to go in, so that was cool.”
There goes an American hero.