Tommy Fleetwood has apologised for calling Luke Donald a ‘s---‘ Ryder Cup captain in an ill-advised joke on live BBC radio.
Fleetwood said he had “lost track” of where he was after presenter Rick Edwards issued an immediate apology to listeners for the swear word, which was clearly said in jest of the English golfer’s close friend Donald.
Team Europe captain Donald announced his six wildcard picks on Monday for the showdown in Rome later this month, with Fleetwood his first selection for the team to face the United States at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
US captain Zach Johnson will look to end their 30-year barren run in Europe with Donald standing in his way but Fleetwood, speaking on 5 Live Breakfast, turned the air blue when asked if he had a sense of what type of captain he would be playing under.
“S---,” he replied, before Edwards apologised for the foul language. “Sorry, sorry, I lost track of where I am. I take that back,” Fleetwood added.
“Luke will be amazing. He’s somebody I am very close to. He’s a calm figure, a confident figure, he’s handled the biggest moment in the sport unbelievably well.
“To have someone leading from the front like that has been great. He’s definitely brought his personality to the captaincy.
“I do feel very honoured, as a friend as well but to play under a European legend, I am looking forward to experiencing his captaincy.”
Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari’s ‘Moliwood’ partnership won four points in Paris in 2018 and played a significant role in Europe’s seven-point winning margin under Thomas Bjorn.
This time around, captain Donald has selected Ludvig Aberg, who will become the most inexperienced player in Ryder Cup history just four months after leaving college to turn professional.
“From the day that he [Aberg] turned pro, there was definitely a talking point that ‘this guy is good enough to make the Ryder Cup team’. It’s not come as a shock to anybody,” Fleetwood said.
“You look at the young superstars of the team and it is a great set up. I am very, very excited to go and play with them.”
Donald’s decision meant he omitted Adrian Meronk, much to many observers’ surprise after the Pole won the Italian Open on the Ryder Cup course at Marco Simone in May and finished fifth on the European points table.
“You look at the guys who have qualified and look at the guys who were picked and it is an amazing team to get into,” Fleetwood added. “The standard is not getting any weaker.
“The best place I have ever been in golf is the European team room. You make some of the best friends and you have some of the best experiences.”