The Ryder Cup is golf's most unique event. And the fans help make it so.
Some 200,000 fans are expected at the Ryder Cup this weekend, with The Associated Press reporting more than 50,000 noisy, boisterous ones showed up Friday.
Some fans – who are booing or cheering after Europeans miss their putts – have prompted reaction from both U.S. and European players. Rory McIlroy has gotten a little upset a few times, USA Today reports.
"Most of the people out there are respectful and are just cheering really hard for the U.S. team," McIlroy said. "That's totally acceptable and that's exactly what happens in Europe. But still, it's a hostile environment that the people out there don't want you to hole a putt. They don't want you to it a good shot."
McIlroy added, "I think when you do hole a putt or hit a good shot, it just makes it that much more satisfying."
The American Marshals
One of the most festive groups is the American Marshals – the official, unofficial cheerleaders of Team USA.
The American Marshals – based on an idea by their late friend, Flip Saunders – vowed to attend every Ryder Cup to cheer on Team USA after seeing European fans (the Guardians of the Cup) wearing festive outfits and singing songs at the 2008 Ryder Cup in Kentucky, according to the group's website.
Now, several Ryder Cups later, the 13 Minnesota friends – you can't miss them on the course, as they're all wearing red, white and blue hockey jerseys and viking horns – are giving the Guardians a run for their money as they serenade the 12 American golfers who are playing to bring the Ryder Cup back to the United States.
The New York Times called the songs between the two cheering squads the "cup within the Cup," which will take place in the grandstand throughout the weekend.
The two sides also battled it out on the course. The American Marshals played the Guardians at Medina Golf and Country Club Thursday, and Cal Franklin of the American Marshals told GoMN they won – which hopefully is a sign of things to come for the Ryder Cup. (The U.S. team has only won three of the last 10 Ryder Cups.)