The Ryder Cup, with 12 golfers from the United States pitted against 12 from Europe over three days starting on Friday at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, has become more than a golf tournament; it has become a raucous event that Waugh described as a combination of the Super Bowl and a Rolling Stones concert. No other golf tournament regularly has players and fans taunting each other.
This year, after Covid-19 seemed to ebb in the spring, the Delta variant has surged back, presenting a challenge to an event that typically hosts about 40,000-plus, all following only a few players.
Add to that the tension over critical comments made between two of the U.S. team’s top players — Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka — which has led fans to taunt DeChambeau. Waugh said he, like the PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, would not tolerate bullying. “We’ll be vigilant to make sure it doesn’t cross the line,” Waugh said. “We’ll enforce it if it does.”