HAVEN, Wis. — Ryder Cup fans in Wisconsin on Tuesday got their first taste of the electric and raucous atmosphere that surrounds the first tee at the Ryder Cup. Subdued by comparison to what it will be like when competition begins, the American team teeing off this morning packed the grandstand, and produced feelings of excitement and pride.
“It's overwhelming to see everything that they've put together for this event,” marveled Dan Winter of Sheboygan. “I brought my two kids with me. This is a lifetime opportunity.” The three sat in the middle of the massive stadium seating area, as Team USA Vice Captain Jim Furyk mimed the letters U-S-A, eliciting chants from the crowd.
Emma Winter could barely believe the world’s best golfers are here in her hometown. “It's incredible because it's just a tiny town and they've been to all these amazing places, and they come here," said Emma. Her brother Ethan added, “That they're coming to Sheboygan, like of all places. Like in two years it's going to be in Rome, but.. (today) Sheboygan.”
Wisconsin sports fans are fortunate to experience one of the great spectacles in sports. The seats at the grandstand go on a first come, first served basis. To get one when things tee off for competition Friday, fans will need to be at the front of the line when the gates open at 7 a.m. It’s a 15 minute, brisk walk that stretches nearly a mile from the entrance to 1-tee. At least 40,000 fans are expected at Whistling Straits each day, with first tee seating that accommodates between 1,500 and 3,000 depending on whom you ask.
Leah Dosch of Milwaukee was lucky enough to get a seat today. Friday? Not yet. “It’s going to be crazy,” she said. "Everyone is going to be screaming and I wish I was going to be here. Do you have some tickets for me?”