Ryder Cup: Cheesy moment for European team as they don Green Bay Packers’ cheeseheads

Europe’s players launched a charm offensive ahead of the 43rd Ryder Cup as they adopted the team colours of the Green Bay Packers and threw “cheesehead” souvenirs into the crowd.

Wild about cheese: Team Europe’s Lee Westwood, left, and Rory McIlroy arrive on the first tee wearing Green Bay Packers Cheesehead hats ahead of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. (Picture: Anthony Behar/PA)

On the second full day of practice at Whistling Straits, the visiting team wore predominantly white tops with green and yellow stripes in tribute to the NFL’s Packers, who are based an hour north of the course in Green Bay.

They also donned foam “cheeseheads” – the nickname for Packers fans which derives from a Dutch word used by residents of Illinois to insult people from Wisconsin – before giving them away to delighted fans in the grandstand surrounding the first tee.

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“When we first went on to the tee the fans didn’t know about it and they went wild,” European captain Padraig Harrington said.

Sheffield's Matt Fitzpatrick enjoys warm-ups with team-mate (Picture: Getty Images)

“The Wisconsin fans are very appreciative and we want to show our appreciation. We think the colours turned out nice and I think the players are stoked they are doing something to show their respect for the local state they are in.”

The scenes brought back memories of the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, when Harrington was one of the players under captain Bernhard Langer who also went out of their way to get the home fans at least partially on their side.

“Everybody is out here to get on well with the crowds,” Harrington added.

“There’s no doubt about that.

“We obviously can’t sign autographs this week with Covid, which is something that traditionally we would do.

“These fans have come out and they’ve come out on a cold day,” he added.

“It’s lighthearted. That’s kind of what you want on the practice days.”