Two PGA coaches at Oak Park Golf Club in Surrey have staged a replica Ryder Cup match for their junior pupils for the fourth consecutive year.
Team Europe, captained by PGA coach Gavin Grenville-Wood, avenged last year’s defeat by clinching a narrow 13-11 victory over Paul Mayoh’s Team USA. The scores are now tied at 2-2 after four stagings of the event.
The weather was reminiscent of Medinah on Saturday, but a stormy Sunday and encroaching darkness presented the 24 young golfers with many obstacles to overcome.
The conditions were no problem for ten-year-old Bobby Wheeler, though. The Oak Park Academy Ryder Cup veteran, playing for the fourth year running, won three points from his three matches to help secure European glory.
Some 80 children took part in a three-week qualifying process to make the teams, with 16 automatic qualifiers and eight captains picks comprising two teams of ten boys and two girls.
“What a fantastic weekend! I’m so proud of all the children. The matches were played in fantastic spirit and the standard of golf was amazing,” said Grenville-Wood, Director of Coaching at Oak Park.
Adrian Wheeler, Bobby’s father, added: “It’s a really good idea, they all have a lot of fun playing in the ‘Ryder Cup. Robert’s a typically competitive boy, and has made a lot of friends at the golf club.
“He’s been having lessons at the Academy since the age of seven: it is the perfect, safe environment for children to enjoy learning the sport at their own speed, under no pressure.”
The two team captains have taught hundreds of children over the past four years, and the 2013 edition of the event is already in the planning stages.