He may share a name with one of golf’s greatest players, but England’s Robin Tiger Williams is looking to write his own chapter in the game’s history, starting at this year’s Junior Ryder Cup.
We caught up with the 17 year old ahead of his debut appearance in the event.
Hi Robin. How’s your game shaping up ahead of the Junior Ryder Cup?
I’m feeling good. I recently played in the Jacques Leglise Trophy with Conor [Gough] along with David [Puig] and Eduard [Rousaud] which was fun. We actually played against one another on the first day but we were able to talk a lot about the Junior Ryder Cup and we’re all really excited.
Are you and Conor a potential pairing in Paris then?
Conor and I have been foursomes partners for about a year now. We’re both in the England Boys’ squad and whenever we were in the same team we played foursomes together. I am not sure what the Captain is thinking but I think that we’ll definitely play together. We’re great friends on and off the course too!
How high is it going to rank in your young career so far?
I have played in some great tournaments, I have played at some great courses but I’m pretty sure that this Junior Ryder Cup experience is going to be the best week and a half of my life so far. Just experiencing everything as part of Team Europe and playing against the Americans – I know a lot of them having played against many of the guys over the last four or five years on the Junior Tour – is going to be very special.
The Junior Ryder Cup has a great track record in producing future stars (Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth to name just a few). When you look at those names how proud are you to follow in their footsteps?
It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m so grateful for this opportunity that the Captain has given me. It’s great to know that the likes of Rory, Sergio, Jordan and Justin – I can name a lot more – started in the same position as we have, and have played in the same events, and are now Major Champions.
I know that not many people have had this opportunity so I’m very, very grateful to be part of the European team.
Obviously you are excited about the matches at Golf Disneyland but following that you will go to Le Golf National for a GolfSixes match where you will meet some of the Ryder Cup players. You may even bump into Tiger Woods – what would that be like?
I have never met Tiger before but I have seen him play live when I’ve been over in America. To meet him and just say hi would be amazing as he is definitely my idol and the person I look up to – he’s the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing today.
How has it been to grow up sharing a name with Woods – and as a result be associated with him?
It’s great to have a name that I can try and live up to and it helps me push forward but I don’t tend to like to be called after Tiger because we are very different. Yes, we share a name but we come from very different ethnic backgrounds, we have very different beliefs and the way I see it with Tiger is that we share a name and a love of the sport. He has done so much for the sport, especially for non-whites in the game, and millions of kids around the world are inspired to play golf because of him. It would be amazing just to see him!
In terms of the players who do you model your game on? And who would you most like to be like?
I try and take a little bit from a lot of people’s games. Everybody is different in their own unique ways – Tiger does his own thing, DeChambeau does his own thing and Rory does his own thing, and I try and take a something from all of their games and put them into my own.
What are your next steps after the Junior Ryder Cup?
In January I’ll be going to Florida State University in America and that’s the route I want to go down – from junior golf to college golf and then take it from there.
You have said that you know players from both the European and American teams well. Do you feel confident about Europe’s chances?
I think we will do very well. We have a very strong team – so do the Americans – and although it will be a difficult task I think we will be able to do it. Playing in Europe and having that home advantage will be so key.
Finally, have you been to Disneyland® Paris before? And how excited are you to go there?
I have never been before so I can’t wait! I’ve been to Disney in Florida before but I’m really excited to go to the park in Paris and visit the city as I haven’t been there before either.