Ryder Cup captains considering tattooing their butt cheeks

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Thomas Bjorn, the 2018 European Ryder Cup captain, promised his players if they won that week he’d get a tattoo to commemorate the victory. The Euros won, and Bjorn got a tattoo on one of his butt cheeks.

Padraig Harrington, this year’s European captain, revealed on Wednesday that his players have asked the same of him, and he said he would oblige.

“I am delighted that that’s all they ask for, but I’d have given up a lot more,’’ Harrington said. “So yes … if my team produces a winning week, I will be getting a tattoo to mark the occasion, and very comfortable that they only asked that much of me.

“I think it’s an unwritten rule, so it has come up, yes, in conversation. Definitely, it’s a given now in Europe. Captain has to get a tattoo. I don’t have any other tattoos at this stage, so it would be a new experience for me. Where on the body? I don’t know.’’

U.S. captain Steve Stricker was less definitive than Harrington, but he did say, “We’ve discussed tattoos in our room.’’

“The problem is my girls, my wife and kids, have always asked me to get a tattoo and I’m like, ‘I’m not putting any decals on my body,’ ’’ Stricker said. “So, I’d have to check with them first, I think, to see if I could actually get a tattoo from the Ryder Cup.’’

Steve Stricker
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Stricker said his “players gave me an idea what I could put on there.’’

“I told them where I was going to put it. It was going to go right on my cheek,’’ he said, pointing to his derriere. “We’ll see what brings about that, but we may have a tattoo artist guy come in on Sunday night. One way or another, it may happen.’’


Both captains will announce their respective pairings for Friday morning’s foursomes (alternate shot) during Thursday’s opening ceremony. Here are some predictions on the pairings, based on history and practice-round groupings:this week

For the U.S., you can virtually bank on Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas paired together both foursomes and fourballs (best ball), and the same for Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. Dustin Johnson and Daniel Berger may play foursomes together, the same for Tony Finau and Collin Morikawa.

For the Europeans, it looks like world No. 1 Jon Rahm will pair with rookie Viktor Hovland in both foursomes and fourballs. Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter will team up in foursomes, the same for Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia. Lee Westwood and fellow Brit Matthew Fitzpatrick look like they may play both together.


The weather the past two practice-round days has been chilly (highs in the low 60s) and blustery, which has made some of the European team feel quite at home.

“This would be a beach day at home,’’ Harrington said Wednesday.

Shane Lowry, who like Harrington is from Ireland, said: “I’m pretty happy with the conditions here to be honest. I’m pretty happy with the golf course and that cold wind. It feels very much like a summer’s day in Ireland when you’re out there.

“It’s quite difficult to play in these conditions, because you need to get your head around hitting a 6-iron 150 yards as opposed to normally most guys hit their 6-iron over 200 yards. It’s just little things like I feel might help me this week.’’


Fleetwood is without the other half of his “Moliwood’’ tandem this year. Fleetwood, from England, and Italian Francesco Molinari were the stars of Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup victory, going 4-0 as partners and earning that nickname.

With Molinari not on this year’s team, Fleetwood was asked on Wednesday if he felt “lonely’’ without his partner.

“No, definitely not lonely with the guys in the team that we have,’’ Fleetwood said. “I think ‘Moliwood’ was a great name. It’s not around this week, but also we have an unbelievable team, and I can’t wait to partner up with whoever that’s going to be.

“I feel massively privileged to be here with everybody that’s part of the team and loving every minute. [Molinari] would have loved to be here. I speak to him all the time. He’s a massive supporter of the team and he will be this week.’’