Counting the county jerseys kept Pádraig Harrington and Paul McGinley amused during their famous Ryder Cup win over Tiger Woods and Davis Love III at Oakland Hills outside Detroit in 2004.
Old faithful a good omen for Lowry
But while it remains to be seen how many European fans get behind Harrington’s 12-man team this week, at least one GAA jersey has already been spotted.
It was a good omen too for Shane Lowry’s father, Brendan, who was out in shorts on a cold and breezy morning at Whistling Straits yesterday that was more akin to the Rosses Point for the West at Easter than a US Ryder Cup.
“Look, an Offaly jersey,” the 1982 All-Ireland winning legend beamed as he pointed to his county colours right of the second fairway. “They’re everywhere now.”
Is Harrington ready to turn the other cheek?
Thomas Bjorn famously kept his promise to the team to have the 2018 Ryder Cup result — 17½ to 10½ — tattooed on his backside after Europe’s lopsided win in Paris.
Now Harrington has promised to get inked up if Europe delivers a fifth away win, but he refused to confirm he’d offer the other cheek.
“I am delighted that that’s all they ask for, but I’d have given up a lot more,” Harrington said with a grin. “So yes, I will be getting a tattoo. If my team produce a winning week, I will be getting a tattoo to mark the occasion, and very comfortable that they only asked that much of me because I would have given more.
“I think it’s an unwritten rule.”
Teams draw on celebrity support
Ryder Cup week can seem interminable in the build-up to tomorrow’s opening foursomes, but the fans on-site will not be bored as Europe and the USA face off in a Ryder Cup Celebrity Match at Whistling Straits today.
It will feature 12 celebrities from the United States and Europe — a mix of stars from the world of film, sport and beyond.
The US celebrities include 1980 Olympic ice hockey captain and gold medalist Mike Eurzione, former Green Bay Packers linebacker AJ Hawk, Olympic champion speed skater Dan Jansen, comedian Rob Riggle and 11-time World Surfing champion Kelly Slater.
Europe boast a lineup of Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero, actor and musician Tom Felton, former Chicago Bulls star Toni Kukoca, actress Stephanie Szostak and former NBA star Sasha Vujacic.