Longtime Northwestern men's golf coach Pat Goss grew up in the area, and he lives in Evanston with his family.
But Goss, one of Golf Magazine's "Top 100 Teachers in America," doesn't mask his rooting interest this weekend in the Ryder Cup.
"I don't find my loyalty tough this week. It's pretty simple: I only have one person I cheer for in this whole event and that's Luke Donald," Goss said. "That's where my interest lay. I know what this event means to him and his career for the European team, so my heart is in making sure Luke Donald plays his best golf."
One of the world's top players, Luke Donald was a four-time All-American at Northwestern. But Donald is a native of England, and he's a key member of the European team that's dominated the U.S. at the Ryder Cup in recent memory. And while some top players from Europe do establish roots in the United States, Donald has maintained a strong presence in the Chicago area, in part, because of Goss.
"As soon as I met him and got to know him, I had a great ease with him," Donald told me. "I felt what he was teaching me were the right things. I just feel very comfortable around him.
"I think he's one of the best short-game teachers in the world, and he's certainly helped my game because of that."