Boorish fan behaviour won't be a problem for either sides at Medinah, says Donald
21:30 GMT, 26 September 2012
Europe's man with inside local knowledge, neither his team nor their relatively small number of supporters here have much to fear when the Ryder Cup begins on Friday.
'The thing that appeals to me about Chicago,' said 15-year resident Donald, 'is that the people are very friendly. They are very much into their sport and they get raucous and loud but I think they will do it in a good spirit.'
The crowd's behaviour at Medinah is the subject of much conjecture, but one certainty is that the European support may not even amount to the 3,000 figure out of 40,000 that has been regularly cited.
No worries: Luke Donald says the fans from both Europe and the USA will not be boorish
There have been only two ways for those living outside America to get tickets, either through an official travel package or a ballot for those with addresses in the rest of the world.
Just over 800 tours have been sold – and there were only 1,500 precious tickets in the overseas ballot, some of which will have been taken by ex-pat Americans.
The figures also illustrate that the fanbase is very much loaded towards the British Isles, and there are virtually no European media here other than the British.
'The vast majority of those on the packages are from the UK or Ireland,' said John Parker of Ryder Cup Travel.
'The numbers are reasonably healthy given that it has been the year of a London Olympics.'
Lads on tour: Fans are lining up in Medinah to see Europe in the 2012 competition
Local boy: Donald lives near Medinah in nearby Chicago
Ticket prices are high enough to put off some of the more passionate blue-collar support of, say, the Chicago Bears NFL team, who might attend and contribute to the atmosphere.
The cheapest day ticket for locals to buy was $150 (around 100) while a ticket for the week was starting at $695 (around 450).
Not that being affluent is any bar to boorish behaviour, with the most irritating shout in all sport being 'Get in the hole!' – rivalled only by 'C'mon Tim!' at Wimbledon.
The notorious 1999 Brookline war in Massachusetts was held at a more exclusive enclave than Medinah.
So the genial enthusiasm seen on the practice rounds, attended by pensioners with twee Stars and Stripes flags on sticks tucked into their sun visors, might not be representative come tomorrow. Europe's small minority of supporters will still need to make themselves heard.
Lining up: The fans were already out in force to support Tiger Woods (centre) on Wednesday