Europe wins Oak Park GC junior 'Ryder Cup'

Team Europe prevailed over team USA at the fourth staging of Oak Park Golf Club's replica Ryder Cup match for juniors

Oak Park Golf Club

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.

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x