Toby Tree makes impressive Major debut at The Open Championship.

27th July 2017

Golf At Goodwood ambassador Toby Tree delivered a superb performance as he made his Major debut at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

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Tree made a great start on Thursday, but after difficult weather conditions during his round on Friday, it looked as though he may just miss the cut. But his performance earlier on in the day was enough and he put on a display to be incredibly proud of, finishing the Championship in tied 54th, alongside Olympic gold-medallist and former Golf At Goodwood ambassador Justin Rose.

The week started with practice rounds with the games biggest names including 2016 Open Championship winner Henrik Stenson, an opportunity that doesn’t happen very often, according to Tree, “It was invaluable to play practice rounds with great players as the crowds were huge for a practice day and that got me used to the atmosphere and eased the nerves for the first tee shot.”

Toby’s Open journey started on Thursday morning at 11:58am when he teed off alongside William McGirt and Jamie Lovemark. Scoring a level par 70, Tree headed into Friday in a strong position.

Tree had an excellent start on Friday morning and went one under par on the fourth. But the difficult weather conditions made the rest of the round tough, Tree hanging on to finish with a five-over-par 75.

“Day two I struggled after a good start but managed to make a good birdie on 16 and I actually made a great par down the last after a poor tee shot, getting up and down from 100 yards. I felt like I played my best golf on the weekend in good scoring conditions but the putts were sliding by which was a little frustrating as there was a score to be made, although the 62 from Branden Grace was exceptional!" said Tree. As the day drew on a positive result looked more likely, as others struggled with the conditions. He added: “Friday afternoon was painful having to wait five/six hours not knowing whether I made the cut or not. I initially went back to the house but couldn't sit around refreshing my phone all day so I went to hang out with my mates. After it was confirmed there was obviously huge relief and excitement for the weekend.”

With his place secured, it was time to look forward to a fantastic weekend ahead and a mid-morning start against Aaron Baddeley. He had a great third round where he shot one-under par to bring him down to four over par overall with a superb back nine, which included four birdies.

On Sunday, Tree was paired with fellow Briton Andy Sullivan and he put in another great round to finish on four-over-par. With a number of established names finishing behind him, it proved that Tree has the attributes to deal with the big occasions. Tree added,“The whole Open experience was great, from practicing with Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter to teeing up on Thursday lunchtime." Enthused Tree, "Making the cut on the number and walking down 18 on Sunday albeit a little earlier than I would have liked! It reassured me that I have the game needed to compete at the top level.”

 

Toby Tree practicing with 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson
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Stuart Gillett, General Manager of Golf At Goodwood, said: “It was incredible to see Toby perform so well at The Open. I was lucky enough to follow him round Royal Birkdale in the first round and he certainly didn’t look out of place. It was great to see the amount of support he had up there from friends and family and am sure all of Sussex were extremely proud of him."

With Tree doing so well, it was a great week for our Academy, but also for our juniors to have somebody to look up to and realise their dreams, Gillett added: “During the week there was huge interest in his progress at the Academy. The juniors were particularly keen to follow him and there was definitely a sense of ‘awe’ whenever he was mentioned or when his name came up on the leaderboard. 

“Toby has been a wonderfully talented golfer for many years and to see him performing at the highest level is a great inspiration for all in particular our juniors who have a new hero to look up to at Goodwood."

Toby finished by saying: “Goodwood is a fantastic place and I have enjoyed some great times there. They do a lot for junior golf and I hope that my result at The Open can both spur me and the juniors onto bigger things."

  • Golf At Goodwood

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