European Tour winner Renato Paratore has paid a special visit to Disneyland Paris® to launch the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup.
The 20 year old, twice a Junior Ryder Cup player in 2012 and 2014, arrived at the world-famous venue in time to hit a spectacular tee shot down the park’s Main Street U.S.A.
For the first time, on 24-25 September 2018, Golf Disneyland will play host to the tournament, which is a celebration of the development work undertaken at grassroots level on both sides of the Atlantic.
The venue, located east of the French capital on the grounds of Disneyland Paris®, will add to the family-orientated atmosphere of the tournament which was established as an international showcase for golf’s next generation.
The site offers a prestigious Championship golf course, which has already proven its pedigree by hosting major events, including a European Challenge Tour tournament back in 1993. In 2011 Golf Disneyland also hosted another Challenge Tour event, the Challenge de France.
The resort has outstanding support facilities and is situated 60 kilometres from Le Golf National, the host venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Like The Ryder Cup, the Junior Ryder Cup is a biennial contest between Europe and America, but with each team consisting of six boys and six girls under the age of 18.
Paratore, who became the youngest winner on the European Tour for four seasons when he triumphed at the Nordea Masters last month, has gone from competing in the Junior Ryder Cup to the top of the professional game in just three years.
Having made such a sharp rise since joining the paid ranks, the Italian acknowledges the role the Junior Ryder Cup played in his transition from promising amateur to European Tour champion.
“It was a great experience for me,” he said. “To have the opportunity to represent Europe and to play against some of the leading players in the world when I was a teenager was brilliant.
“To play in such a big tournament at an early age and to be selected twice as well, really prepared me for the type of challenges I would face when I turned professional.
“I have lots of good memories of Disneyland Paris too. I came here with my mother when I was a child, but I’ve also been here before with my Junior Ryder Cup team mates – we had a lot of fun!
“I haven’t had the chance to play the golf course here, but I’ve heard lots of good things about it – and I’m sure the teams will really enjoy playing here next year.”
The 2018 Junior Ryder Cup will be the tenth staging of the event which has seen some of the world’s greatest players pass through its ranks.
Reigning Masters Tournament champion Sergio Garcia played in the 1995 exhibition match, and four years later was a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup Team in Brookline.
Two-time Major winner Suzann Pettersen took part in both the 1997 and 1999 editions of the Junior Ryder Cup, while four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy formed part of the victorious European side of 2004.
Hunter Mahan, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Lexi Thompson are some of the global stars who have represented the United States team – who have won six of the ten meetings between the two sides.