No-one seems safe on Europe's WhatsApp group when Rory McIlroy is about 1 year ago

No-one seems safe on Europe's WhatsApp group when Rory McIlroy is about

Stitched him up good there.

Team Europe's WhatsApp group has been humming ever since Sunday.

No-one is safe, nor immune, and God help you if you are from England - the Brexit jokes are zinging about.

"No," European captain Thomas Bjorn responded, amid much laughter, when he was asked if the English contingent of the team has been copping flak. "I think Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland are part of Europe last time I looked, so no."

All together now, if you can believe the mirthful Dane.

Spain's Jon Rahm is set for his Ryder Cup debut and Rory McIlroy has already likened him to golfing, and Ryder Cup, legend Seve Ballesteros. "He definitely has the fire of a Seve," said McIlroy. "He's got that passion that the Spanish are known for.

"We've had this WhatsApp group going, all the Ryder Cup players and vice-captains and captains for the last few weeks, and I've been pleasantly surprised at Jon's input into it. I wasn't quite as vocal in my first Ryder Cup as he's been, but I wasn't as good a player in my first Ryder Cup as he is."

With that carrot comes the stick, and McIlroy has been merciless with it. The Northern Irishman has made Rahm feel like one of the gang with some wretched teasing and some candid camera-work.

"We have funny moments," Rahm told the press on Wednesday morning.

"Yesterday, for example, after the round, after Rory drove it past me 50 yards on pretty much every hole, I was on the physio table after the round with needles in me.

"Because of jet-lag, I was completely asleep. So Rory, he decided it was a perfect time to take a picture in my underwear and post it on the chat and say I couldn't handle him hitting it past me every single drive. Obviously, you have to protect yourself and respond to something like that and say whatever comes to mind."

Golf is so often such an individual game - despite the growing entourages of the top stars - so most players enjoy being part of a team, even if there is a fair bit of slagging.

"Everybody makes fun of each other," says Rahm. "If you think you've gotten away so far, you're not going to. Everybody is going to get something at some point."