Thomas Pieters critical of 2016 Ryder Cup course setup, says Americans 'can't drink'

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Thomas Pieters critical of 2016 Ryder Cup course setup, says Americans 'can't drink'

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Thomas Pieters critical of 2016 Ryder Cup course setup, says Americans 'can't drink'

Thomas Pieters won’t be playing in the Ryder Cup later this month in Paris. But that didn’t stop the 26-year-old Belgian from talking a little smack before this year’s matches.

In a recent interview with Bunkered Magazine, Pieters took shots at the course setup two years ago at Hazeltine and commented on the alcohol tolerance – or lack thereof, he said – of the American fans.

“It just came down to putting,” said Pieters, who went 4-1 in his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine, though the U.S. won 17-11 overall. “That was the single biggest difference between us and them that week. The setup of the course was ridiculous.

“(Phil Mickelson) was sometimes hitting it, like, six fairways left or right but was still able to get it on the green and then make a 40-footer. I didn’t think it was a great Ryder Cup set up, to be honest.”

The home team controls the course setup at the Ryder Cup, so the Europeans will have that luxury this year. Another thing that could be different is the atmosphere.

Many European players were critical of some American fans at Hazeltine for inappropriate behavior. Pieters said some fans were especially hostile toward his teammate Rory McIlroy.

“For me, it wasn’t that bad because they didn’t know who I was. They didn’t have any dirt on me or anything like that. But for Rory, yeah, it was pretty hostile,” Pieters said. “They shouted stuff at him that you shouldn’t shout at anybody anywhere.

“Maybe that’s because they sell beer at 7 a.m. and Americans can’t drink.”

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