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American patriotism on full display in Ryder Cup crowd

Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 6:22 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2021 at 11:19 PM CDT
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SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - If the European Team had pulled out a win, it would have been the largest comeback in Ryder Cup history, but on Sunday, the stars of the show were all wearing red, white and blue - both on the course and in the stands.

Colorful USA themed outfits filled the crowds, making it look like an over the top Fourth of July barbeque between the Hills of one of the nation’s most renowned golf courses.

The American team made short work of their victory, thanks to massive leads during the first two days of competition, much to the crowd’s enjoyment.

Decked out in the thoughtful American-inspired getup, fans showcased how much pride they have in hosting the Ryder Cup in the state of Wisconsin, some of whom call home.

“Because of COVID, we’ve been very devastated. Wisconsin is a huge golf state, so having this, everyone is very excited. Most of my friends in Madison made their way up here. Everyone from around Wisconsin is here,” said Kiki Vandenbrook, who is from Madison and is visiting the area.

In addition, attending the event showed for some how large a priority the sport of golf is in their lives.

“The backstory is that we were college roommates 30 years ago,” said Pete Campbell, who is visiting from Virginia Beach. “He’s my son’s and my daughter’s godfather. We’ve stayed together ever since. Golf and our families are the most important things in our lives.”

Others greeted fans from their driveway, as attendees drove in for the final day of competition.

“All these people are so cool coming through,” said Paul Dingel, a neighbor of Whistling Straits Golf Course. “It’s just so good to interact with people instead of doing it social media wise, or whatever else there is in the world these days. This is great.”

While it was easy for Wisconsin golfers to come up and enjoy the course at Whistling Straits, some American fans said they’re already thinking about buying tickets to Rome for the 2023 Ryder Cup when Europe hosts - especially after seeing the energy during this year’s event.

Before Sunday, the defending champions from Europe had won 7 of the last 10 Ryder Cups. And with Team USA’s victory, it’s times like these that transcend sports.

“I think it brings everyone together. Additionally, we’re here on behalf of USA. I’m here because being from Illionois, we’re proud that the captain is Steve Stricker. He’s done a great job outing this team together,” said Sen. Sue Rezin (R), the Deputy Minority Leader for Illinois Caucus.

“I think now more than ever, this is truly important. To bring everyone together. We’ve met people from all over the country. We’ve met people from other countries. We’ve shared beers with them, shared laughs. the game of golf means so much to the world and absolutely the US of A,” said Campbell.

Although the next Ryder Cup will be in Rome, some are appreciating the ability to kick back next to their home grown beer garden, and experience the fun.

“I don’t even feel like we’ve got to watch anymore. We can hear them. We know what’s going on,” said Dingel.

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