Woods ready for 'awesome environment' on Ryder Cup opening hole

Getty Images

Tiger Woods is eagerly anticipating a deafening wall of sound behind Le Golf National's first tee when the Ryder Cup begins on Friday.

A loud and lively crowd can always be expected when the United States and Europe do battle, but this year's opening hole promises to deliver a particularly raucous atmosphere.

The first tee at Le Golf National stands in front of a huge grandstand, which is certain to be packed with passionate spectators.

"It's going to be fun," said Woods in a news conference on Tuesday. "It's an awesome environment.

"It's something we don't get to experience often because basically it's [like] the final round of a tournament on the very first hole and every match you tee it up. It's a different atmosphere and one that we absolutely love."

Woods spoke of his opening-tee nerves on his Ryder Cup debut at Valderrama in 1997, when Mark O'Meara pulled rank and forced his young playing partner to take the first shot.

Now 42 and an experienced head in the US team, Woods is expecting to sample something similar to the notably vocal support Europe received at Celtic Manor in 2010.

"I don't know what it was acoustically, but they were so close together that it was reverberating. It was so loud," said Woods, looking back on his time in Wales eight years ago.

"We could hear it on the putting green, which was right next to the first tee, but when you get on the first tee, you could actually feel it. That was fun to be a part of. I loved it.

"I think this week will be exactly like that, but I think the decibels will be up a little higher."

The 14-time major champion, who enjoyed a spectacular return to winning ways at the Tour Championship last weekend, made an amusing observation on the sort of noise now made by spectators.

"The art of the clap is gone," he said with a smile. "People don't clap because how can you clap when you have a cell phone in your hand?

"People are now screaming and they are pretty loud, and especially late in the day when it's hot and they have tipped back a few, it gets even louder."