Golfer Toby Tree’s hunger to play in the Ryder Cup was fed on Sunday when he had first hand experience of Europe’s stunning fightback.
The 18-year-old from Southwater was in the grandstands on the 17th green at Medinah Country Club as Europe came from 10-6 down to snatch an historic win against the USA.
Toby was on hand to watch the entire event unfold after competing in the Junior Ryder Cup at US Open venue Olympia Fields earlier in the week.
He said: “The American fans were so loud at the start of the day but as it progressed, they got quieter and quieter.
“Sunday was a great experience and gave me a great incentive to play in the actual thing.”
Representing the young European team, Toby collected two half points in the Junior version of the competition - and said they were made to feel just like the pros.
“I played nicely all week,” he said. “I halved my foursomes match and made seven birdies in my better ball game, and then I was five under for the back nine in my singles match.
“It was set-up just like the Ryder Cup, just on a smaller scale of it and it was good to be going up against the best Americans - there were big crowds watching it and it was a bite size of what the real thing is like.”
Toby was given an bigger taste for the main event 24 hours before Jose Maria Olazabal’s men began hostilities with the US, when the Junior Ryder Cup stars played an exhibition round in front of packed galleries at the Chicago course - partizan fans and all.
Toby said: “There were 25,000 people there, all lined down the fairways. I felt good and managed to nut one off the first tee - it was the most nervous I have ever been in front of that many people. It was a really good feeling.
“There was a bit of chanting from the home fans - it was all good fun.”
Toby plans to turn professional next September, where he will try his luck on the European Tour.