PJ Willett, thus far the only sibling of a Ryder Cup player to receive a public dressing down from a Ryder Cup captain, has written an article for the Telegraph defending his famous pre-competition takedown of US golf yahoos.
Though it pains him to have to do so. For, as he observes, a joke that has to be explained clearly wasn't a very good one in the first place. Of course, the dim comprehension of the audience can be a factor too, but that's bye the bye.
For those who don't remember the rant, Willett took aim at a certain rather notorious category of American golf fan, a category which made itself very vocal during the Ryder Cup as it happens. No one who watches golf regularly can claim to be ignorant of such characters.
Here was Willett's adoring portrait published in Nationalclubgolfer.com.
They need to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer, pausing between mouthfuls of hotdog so they can scream ‘Baba booey’ until their jelly faces turn red.
They need to stun the angry, unwashed, Make America Great Again swarm, desperately gripping their concealed-carry compensators and belting out a mini-erection inducing ‘mashed potato,’ hoping to impress their cousin.
They need to smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives, and resentful children. Squeezed into their cargo shorts and boating shoes, they’ll bellow ‘get in the hole’ whilst high-fiving all the other members of the Dentists’ Big Game Hunt Society.
Team Europe need to silence these cretins quickly.
Beginning life in this little corner of the internet, PJ's article spread far and wide with disastrous consequences for his privacy.
Darren Clarke tore into him in front of the cameras, angrily disassociating himself and the whole of Team Europe from PJ's words. What's more, his brother Danny - who seems like a puckish and playful sort himself - was said to be very disappointed with brothers.
Quite how disappointed he actually was remains open to question. No sooner was the competition over than Danny was tweeting that a significant minority of the US fans had vindicated PJ's column.
— Golf2Win (@Golf_2_Win) April 11, 2016
In his Telegraph article today, PJ offers some mild form of mea culpa, in acknowledging the timing for his rant being off.
Those who are interested in generating traffic to the Nationalclubgolfer.com website may disagree, but Willett acknowledged that the week in which his brother was playing in a Ryder Cup was not the optimal time to write such a screed.
However, he took to task the misreporting of websites who distorted what he said. He did not, as some had alleged, label all Americans as "imbeciles." Instead, he singled out a certain subset of American golf fan who he still regards as worthy of ridicule.
Firstly, my ‘rant’ was not a criticism of ALL Americans, but a satirical jab against a very select group of individuals who are wholly deserving of ridicule - those that scream ‘Baba booey’, belt out ‘Mashed Potato’, and bellow ‘Get in the Hole’. These were the only imbeciles to which I was referring....
Secondly, my penultimate paragraph makes explicitly clear how far I had lodged my tongue into my cheek, but the media deliberately missed this section of text, so I’ll include it again:
“During my 33 years as an avid sports watcher, I have never cared more about the result of a single event. I am desperate for a win. Such desperation can lead to puerile outbursts. A more immature mind than mine might resort to petty insults or unflattering generalisations.”
IT WAS A JOKE. Like the ‘Cheeseburger’-screaming simpletons, I also couldn’t control myself during Ryder Cup week. I was highlighting my own immaturity because I used petty insults and unflattering generalisations in my puerile outburst.
Willett's employers evidently don't take the advice of Butch Harmon very seriously because PJ doesn't appear to have been fired from his teaching job. This is eminently sensible of them.
When Butch wants to advise about swing techniques, everybody should shut up and listen. When Butch wishes to pronounce on teacher hirings and firings, there's no need to pay too much heed.