Danny Willett says sorry after his brother provokes Ryder Cup backlash
British golf star Danny Willett has apologised after his brother branded American Ryder Cup fans a "braying mob of imbeciles" in a scathing magazine article.
Peter Willett penned the expletive-laden column for National Club Golfer, in which he said the European team needed to "shut those groupies up".
The schoolteacher described the US spectators as "angry and "unwashed" and referred to Americans as "fat, stupid, greedy, classless, bastards", provoking anger on social media.
He later said sorry to his American followers on Twitter, but added: "I mean every word."
Distancing himself from the incendiary comments, Masters champion Danny Willett said: "I'd just like to apologise obviously to everyone involved for what's been said.
"It's obviously not the thoughts of myself and of the team and of captain Darren (Clarke). I spoke to him (Pete) on the phone after I was made aware of what was said and what has been going on.
"And I said to Pete that I was obviously disappointed in what was said and what was written about the American fans that obviously took me under their wing fantastically back in April (at the Masters)."
Clarke earlier said Willett had been left "bitterly disappointed" by the article.
The reigning champions were preparing for the biennial competition, set to begin at Hazeltine National in Minnesota on Friday, when the row erupted.
Danny Willett apologised in person to US captain Davis Love, adding: "He took it very well and I think he's drawn a line under it for himself and for the team. So hopefully everyone else can do the same and hopefully we can get on and have a great tournament.
"I got made aware after a few holes today, it was obviously going crazy. It is tough to then concentrate, because you don't want people to think badly of yourself.
"You kind of wanted to get off the golf course and hopefully get it sorted, hopefully draw a line under it and get back to what we're doing."
Clarke had earlier expressed his dismay at the story, saying: "It is not what Team Europe stands for.
"I was obviously very disappointed in it, as well, because that's an outside person expressing their opinion which is not representative of what our thoughts are."
Opposite number Love said he had resisted the temptation to read the article.
"If I read it, I'm just going to get mad. If I read it, I'm just going to get defensive. So I just try to ignore it," he said.
It remains to be seen if the article, which included numerous unflattering descriptions of American fans, will induce a backlash from spectators when play gets under way.
It read: "For the Americans to stand a chance of winning, they need their baying mob of imbeciles to caress their egos every step of the way.
"They need to stun the angry, unwashed, Make America Great Again swarm, desperately gripping their concealed-carry compensators and belting out a mini-erection inducing 'mashed potato,' hoping to impress their cousin.
"They need to smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives, and resentful children. Squeezed into their cargo shorts and boating shoes, they'll bellow 'get in the hole' whilst high-fiving all the other members of the Dentists' Big Game Hunt Society.
"Darren Clarke needs to pick his pairs carefully, they need to support each other intelligently, and the crowd needs to be dealt with swiftly.
"If these things happen, Europe will win, and I'll try to support gracefully by embracing the same sense of fair-mindedness that has permeated this unbiased article. If not, the Americans will claim their second victory this century ... those fat, stupid, greedy, classless, bastards."