MEDINAH Dave Vivolo wasnt exactly sold on wearing a red, white and blue wig. But theres something about a patriotic golf event and a persuasive friend.
I told him I wasnt going to do it but he talked me into it, said Vivolo of good friend Greg Short, both of whom live in southern California. Theres a certain camaraderie between people when you wear a wig or (costumes) or something here. Its very social. All in all, its excellent.
From Bubba Watson goading fans to cheer during his opening tee shots, to the nation-themed garb donned by spectators, the Ryder Cup is an audio and visual display of team and country devotion. For an event like this, the national pride has been evident. Fans have done everything from the subtle, like a wig or an Uncle Sam hat, to the extreme full flag suits and, in one case, a Captain America costume.
And for some, no distance was too far to travel.
Four men from Dublin, Ireland, with flags tied draped over their shoulders, had a weather-related reason to come here.
The sunshine, said Ken Tannen. After the last two European Ryder Cups (in Ireland in 2006 and Wales in 2010) we were so wet we decided to come here. Its absolutely awesome. We were just saying on the No. 1 tee earlier, it doesnt get any better than this.
Some of the outfits have garnered plenty of attention. A group of seven men from Great Britain have become weekend celebrities thanks to their suits, which are Union Jack from head to toe. Several fans stopped to have their picture taken with the group.
We all play golf at the same club back in the UK, so its a boys long week away. Weve had photos taken, national newspapers back home showed us, its been great, said Craig Nightengale, who added the groups been welcomed here. A vast majority of Americans have been great to us. Theyve been very sociable.
Jerry and Rosann Gorman didnt have to travel far for this one. Living just a mile away in Roselle, the Gormans, dressed in plenty of red, white and blue, took in Saturdays matches after volunteering here on Thursday.
Its been fantastic. The whole communitys involved and all the local people are embracing it, said Jerry Gorman. With both the Europeans and Americans, the money doesnt matter. Its all pride and everybodys a good sport.
Rosann agreed, and said the amicable feelings have been among the colorfully decked-out crowds, too.
Its been very interesting, especially with the Europeans. Its been fun to mingle with them, she said. I can listen to those British accents all day.