European Ryder Cup diary: McIlroy & Rahm reveal WhatsApp banter

Our latest look behind the scenes of Team Europe includes an insight into what the players talk about in their WhatsApp group.

Jon Rahm (left) and Rory McIlroy   -  Getty Images

The no-rules world of Team Europe's WhatsApp group is the highlight of Wednesday's daily diary from Le Golf National.

As the 42nd Ryder Cup draws ever closer, it's clear the hosts are still feeling pretty relaxed ahead of the challenge. And, the presence of family is only adding to that warm glow of having home comforts.

 

WHATSAPP BANTER

It's the WhatsApp group you would love to be a part of - the one populated by members of Team Europe. But, it sounds like that can actually be a pretty hostile place to be, as Jon Rahm alluded to.

"It's pretty much freewheel to say what you want to anybody, which is obviously a great thing because we all have a lot of fun," said the Spaniard.

READ: Watson hints at Team USA illness

He can't have been too harsh on Rory McIlroy, though, as the four-time major winner said he had been "pleasantly surprised" by Rahm's input into the group.

Oh, just on that note, Rory... Rahm added: "If you think you've gotten away so far, you're not going to. Everybody is going to get something at some point."

 

RAHM'S ON BEST BEHAVIOUR FOR GRAN

If Rahm was a little coy regarding the specific content of that WhatsApp group, it may have been down to more than a penchant for personal privacy.

Just before the start of his media conference, an elderly couple walked in to take up their seats among the assembled media.

It later became apparent that they were Rahm's grandparents, so it's no surprise he shied away from revealing the full extent of Team Europe's text-based banter.

ALSO READ: Spieth not worried by USA's dismal away record

MCILROY MAKES CROWD RISE FOR ROSE

McIlroy was clearly in good spirits and he engaged in a bit of crowd participation to prove it. Awaiting Justin Rose's tee shot at the first hole during their practice round, McIlroy decided the Olympic champion needed some extra support.

So, the Northern Irishman whipped the crowd into a frenzy and had them rhythmically clapping to get Rose in the zone. That's what friends are for!

 

TRY LIFTING THAT TROPHY!

The actual Ryder Cup, that is to say the trophy and not the event, is a diminutive thing. While the tournament is huge in its scale and appeal, the material prize that Europe and the United States compete for is only a little over 40 centimetres tall.

But, in the spectator village on the west side of the course, there is a replica that is somewhat larger. In fact, it would be a struggle for both captains to lift its 88-kilogram mass between them!