Ryder Cup 1st tee: A spectacle like no other in sports
They booooooo-ed the Americans. They chanted the names of their European heroes. Once again, this time on a warm French morning, the vast Ryder Cup crowds that massed to witness the first shots provided a spectacle unlike any other in sports.
Otherwise perfectly sensible adults donned silly hats, breakfasted on beer and sang their hearts out.
The feverish, pressure-cooker atmosphere all seemed a bit too much for Ryder Cup rookie Tony Finau, who hit the first shot at Le Golf National and overcooked it.
European fans cheered loudly when his 3-iron off the tee landed right at the edge of the water at No. 1, leading to a bogey.
The fans cheered again, chanting his name, when Justin Rose’s second shot plopped sweetly about 3 feet from the cup.
His birdie putt then gave Europe an early lead.
But the crowds, although boisterous, were also respectful, playful and not nasty in their teasing of the visiting Americans. The silence that descended over the vast first tee grandstand for Finau’s opening shot was absolute.