Meet ‘Colonel Sanders’ who leapt into Ryder Cup lake to go ‘golf ball fishing’

While Team Europe launched into a booze-chugging Ryder Cup celebration following their impressive win over Team USA, one fan of Luke Donald's team launched himself into a lake.

Donald's men managed to avenge their historic 19-9 2021 Ryder Cup defeat at Whistling Straits, winning the 44th iteration of the storied competition 16.5-11.5 at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy. Team Europe dominated the weekend from the off, and while a brief fightback at the end of day two was a potential cause for concern, they wrapped up proceedings on Sunday with ease.

And while footage from Team Europe's celebrations have shown the likes of Rory McIlroy and Tyrell Hatton chugging beers from the Ryder Cup, arguably the best celebration of Europe's win came courtesy of 70-year-old John Burleigh. Burleigh, a Scottish golf fan, went viral on social media after he launched himself into the lake of the 16th hole at the Marco Simone following Europe's win.

READ MORE:Delirious Ryder Cup fan leaps into water as Europe's win 'goes to Colonel Sanders' head'

READ MORE:Rory McIlroy leads Europe's booze chugging Ryder Cup celebrations late into the night

And in doing so, he even earned the nickname 'Colonel Sanders'. After Tommy Fleetwood guaranteed a half point to secure Europe's Ryder Cup victory, Burleigh, who hails from Greenock, Inverclyde, was filmed sprinting towards the lake, which he launched himself into.

"The sun got to me and I was lost to delirium," Burleigh told BBC Scotland. "The weather had been too hot but the banter and company had been fantastic. I had predicted it was going to finish at the 16th. The American conceded right in front of me and I just took off.

"I hadn't planned it but I had said to a golf friend in Largs that it was so exciting that I could jump in the lake. And when we won it was so inviting I just shot off.

"When I put my head in the lake I was looking for golf balls. I was hoping to come out with some but I didn't see any."

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Then, after getting out of the lake, he was roared on by the crowd to do it again, with Burleigh duly obliging. Jumping into a lake at one of golf's most prestigious events might lead you to get in trouble, but not if you're Burleigh. The Scotsman also revealed that while he did have a conversation with a police officer after sprinting and jumping into the lake on the 16th hole, he got off 'scot-free'.

"I didn't get into trouble but a policeman came up and wanted a word with me," Burleigh said. "They checked my ID and I apologised and said the sun had got to me.

"I showed him my driver's licence but while we were doing this people were coming up and getting selfies with me. And more and more people started jumping in the lake after me."

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And of course, the 70-year-old also hopes that KFC might reach out with an offer of some food given his new found social media fame and nickname. He added: "People who were heading home were coming up and showing me the footage and saying I was a legend. It was good fun and it was all done in the best possible taste.

"It could have been worse. Someone called me an 'old guy' but I took that on the chin. So long as KFC call me up with an offer, I'll be quite happy."

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