Ryder Cup stars laud ‘most incredible’ first tee at Le Golf National

The first tee is a nervy place to be for any golfer, but at this year’s Ryder Cup those feelings will be amplified.

Le Golf National’s opening hole features a huge grandstand that will seat 6,900 fans behind the players of Team Europe and Team USA as they begin their quest for precious points.

It has been a talking point in practically all of the media conferences held this week at the picturesque course just outside Paris.

Here, we take a look at what the players and captains have been saying.

 

Justin Rose: “The scenes around that first tee will be absolutely amazing. It’s the most incredible first tee shot I’ve ever seen for sure.”

Ian Poulter: “It’s a daunting week. That first tee stand, I went out there to have a little look from the top, and it’s pretty big.

“So for me, when I think back to [my debut in] 2004, the stand is nothing like what we have today. So it really is going to be quite a special moment Friday, and it’s going to be very interesting to see.”

Tiger Woods: “It’s going to be fun. It’s an awesome environment.”

Henrik Stenson: “I think everyone is going to feel that first tee. That’s normal for the Ryder Cup. And given the size and the set-up we have here this week, which looks absolutely phenomenal, it’s going to be something different, something special.

“So I expect everyone to feel a little bit of jelly in their legs walking down to their first tee.”

Rory McIlroy: “It’s a huge grandstand. Playing a practice round, there was basically no people in it, and I still got goosebumps looking at it and thinking, on Friday, this thing is going to be packed.”

Jim Furyk: “We all looked forward to trying to make these Ryder Cup teams when we were younger, and they have an opportunity this week and they are going to walk down that walkway into the first tee and the place is going to be going absolutely crazy. And of that 6,000 people, probably 5,500 will be crowded and cheering for Europe.”

Tommy Fleetwood: “I’ve thought about that first tee shot, standing on that first tee and being a Ryder Cup member and playing for that team and hitting that tee shot and what that’s going to be like.

“I’ve thought about it plenty, but again, nothing prepares you for the real thing. The grandstand is pretty big. There’s no denying that.”

Patrick Reed: “When I first saw that on the first tee, I looked up and felt like I kept looking up and up and up. There’s going to be so many people that are sitting in there. It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere.

“The first tee is going to be just so much fun.”

Sergio Garcia: “Those stands look massive. Excited to see them all the way up to the end, filled up and cheering and everything. I think it could be one of the most exciting Ryder Cups ever.”

Thomas Bjorn: “It was certainly big last time at Hazeltine. If this is the route we’re going to go, we’re going to have 60,000 sitting down the first hole at some stage in the future.”​

Tyrrell Hatton: “There’s no doubt about it this week that you’re going to be nervous. Everyone is in the same boat. It’s very natural to be nervous. It’s a massive event.

“Obviously there’s going to be the biggest grandstand we’ve seen at a golf tournament behind the first, which is special.”

Paul Casey: “We had a small tasting of that first tee [on Wednesday]. It was really noisy. Who did I play with… Henrik, Thorbjorn [Olesen] and Tyrrell, and then when we walked off the tee and we looked back, about a hundred yards, we looked back and realised it was about five per cent full.”

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