Published 5:26 PM EDT Sep 29, 2018
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Drowned out by the cheers of “Ole! Ole-ole-ole!” and “Eu-rope! Eu-rope! Eu-rope!” are the applause and chants of “USA!”
Though you may not hear them on TV.
But many American fans are among the 50,000-plus that stormed Paris’ Le Golf National for the 2018 Ryder Cup. Despite Team USA’s struggles on Friday and Saturday, those fans are still donning the red, white and blue and pulling for an American comeback.
For many , this week’s playing of the biennial event between the United States and Europe is a first-time fan experience.
“It’s my first trip to Europe and I’ve never been to a Ryder Cup, ” said Alex Durham of North Carolina, who’s attending the tournament with his father Vince as a birthday and Christmas gift.
For Vince, he was impressed with the fans and the atmosphere, “but we sure are in the minority.”
“We were on the first tee grandstand which was pretty electric, but we didn’t expect our voice to be as small there as it was,” echoed Alex Miller, who made the trip from New York City with three friends, one of which was a European supporter.
Dressed in American flag suits, the group said they wanted to attend the event to “take the cup back home.”
Team USA needs to win at least eight of 12 available points in order to retain the trophy in Sunday's singles matches.
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While it hasn’t been an easy week for the players, it's been a relatively smooth week for American fans in Paris. In fact, the only gripes that three-time Ryder Cup veteran fans Walter Cahill and Jeremy Amazeen have with the setup at Le Golf National are with “spots to get beer and portapottys.”
“Because of the hills, you’re able to see more of the holes here compared to other venues,” said Amazeen, who was at the tournaments in 2016 at Hazeltine, 2012 in Medinah and 1999’s Battle of Brookline.
John Gallagher, a member of a group in attendance who share a relationship with Ryder Cup veteran and first-time captain Jim Furyk, echoed the praise of Le Golf National’s fan-friendly setup.
In fact, Furyk’s friends may have the best story off the course from this week.
“We went to the Ryder Cup Gala on Wednesday night, and I’m walking through the middle of the gala to get back to our table and Kurt Russell stops me because I had an American flag tie on," explained Gallagher, who's been to three other Ryder Cups. "And then (Russell) goes, ‘That is the best tie in the place.’"
As if that wasn't a great enough story, a European fan begged him to give up the tie, so the two traded.
“For the most part, the European fans have been really kind,” said Beth Korab, another member of the group.
Korab explained how lots of fans wanted to take pictures with them because of their decked-out American regalia: “We are all in. We have different outfits for all three days.”