Golf-Garcia's American wife calls on US Ryder Cup fans to cheer not jeer

FILE PHOTO: Sep 22, 2021; Haven, Wisconsin, USA; Sergio Garcia hits his tee shot on the 6th hole during practice rounds for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) -The American wife of Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia has called on her compatriots to show European players respect during the Ryder Cup after being embarrassed by some U.S. fans at the 2016 competition in Minnesota.

Angela Akins said she hoped there would be no repeat of the atmosphere when the event was last held in the United States at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

Europe have already launched a charm offensive at Whistling Straits, where they expect to face a hostile U.S. home crowd when play begins on Friday in the biennial event.

"I understand cheering for your team but let's leave the insults out," Akins told CNN. "It went too far at Hazeltine when I was following Sergio ... I ended up having a go at a group of guys who were barracking him.

"I said to them: 'I'm here supporting the European team, I'm an American, and you're embarrassing me'. The people around us joined in and said: 'Yeah, you're embarrassing us too.' I said to the guys I want to see American fans being better than that."

Akins said the fans later apologised.

Europe are defending champions after winning in 2018 but the players will not have the usual army of fans to support them this year due to travel restrictions.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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