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Ryder Cup fans are excited to bring 'patriotic spirit' to Whistling Straits after Opening Ceremony

Posted at 10:24 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 23:25:03-04

KOHLER, Wis. (NBC 26) -- For golf fans, it's feeling a little like the night before Christmas.

"It's just great to see the patriotic spirit," Michigan-based golfer Ryan Diepstra said.

And a sea of red, white and blue is flooding Northeast Wisconsin.

"We love the vibe when Europe and USA compete against each other," Steve Nugest said while visiting Kohler from Athens, Ga.

The Opening Ceremony for the 43rd Ryder Cup marked the start of a big weekend at Whistling Straits.

Despite a temporary rain storm during Thursday's events, fans still packed the course by the thousands. Nugent is so excited, he bought his tickets years ago.

"This is one of those bucket list items," he said. "If you're a golfer -- you're a sports fan -- this is something you want to check off the list without a doubt."

Even during a practice round, the golf course paths were already full with spectators.

"It's just great to finally be back at the Ryder Cup after three years," Diepstra said. "And it's great to be with our kids to show them what the Ryder Cup is all about."

The Ryder Cup expects to host around 40,000 fans per day over the weekend.

"There's a lot of golfers that I haven't seen before," Diepstra's son Andy said. "And I was all excited to see Bryson DeChambeau hit it like 500 yards."

Fans young and old, ready for another battle between the United States and Europe.