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Willett's bro defends column, calls timing 'atrocious'

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In his first published remarks since calling some American golf fans “a baying mob of imbeciles,” among other insults before the Ryder Cup, Peter Willett defended his satirical column but conceded that the timing was “atrocious.”

Writing for The Telegraph, the Masters champion’s brother said he was stunned by the response to his article and miffed that more media outlets couldn’t detect “how far I had lodged my tongue into my cheek.” 

Willett says that it’s clear to anyone “with a modicum of intelligence or a desire to report news rather than fabricate it” that his column was satirical. 

Still, the timing of the article, which first appeared on Wednesday of Ryder Cup week, couldn’t have been much worse. European captain Darren Clarke described the anti-American rant as “very disappointing,” and Danny Willett, left to deal with the fallout, was targeted by hecklers throughout the three-day event.

“Messages flooded in talking of my ‘vindication’ as my words were ‘prophetic’ – some even claimed I was entirely to blame for inciting the crowds,” Willett wrote. “People who share the condescending sentiment of this claim have less respect for the cretins than I do. I definitely focused their ire (sorry Danny), but to suggest that they’re not accountable for their behavior is just the soft bigotry of low expectations.” 

After going 0-3 during the worst European loss in 35 years, Danny Willett took to Twitter: