The relationship between the Olympic Games (OG) and golf has at all times been very distant, and by no means passionate. Weighed down by the Olympic motion’s historic lack of interest in the world of the little white ball. On the program of the Games at the starting of the XXe century, from 1900 to 1904, golf then disappeared from the radar for 100 and twelve years, earlier than making its comeback throughout the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, in 2016. Without nonetheless attracting speedy assist from the finest worldwide golfers. In Brazil, twelve of the twenty finest gamers in the world didn’t reply.
A logical statement for Christophe Muniesa, basic supervisor of the French Golf Federation (FFGolf), as a result of “the discipline was organized far from the Olympic world. The reference events, throughout the XXe century, were the major tournaments”. Namely: the Augusta Masters, the US Open and the PGA Championship, in the United States, and the British Open. Result: when the Games represent the Holy Grail for some athletes, among golfers, ignoring the competition is far from heartbreaking.
In 2021, Victor Perez, the 30-year-old French number one, tipped to compete in the Tokyo Games, had finally declined the invitation a month before the start of the tournament. In a press release, the golfer from Tarbes mentioned a “very condensed international calendar” and the have to forfeit ” for [lui] enable to perform [ses] 2021 objectives.” Without the Olympics, subsequently.
The Olympic effervescence doesn’t reign over the self-discipline. A state of affairs bolstered by the absence of outcomes from the Habs on this assembly. France has by no means gained a podium at the Olympics. At finest, a 21e place signed Grégory Bourdy in Rio, then, respectively, the 35e and 45e positions of Romain Langasque and Antoine Rozner in Tokyo.
Meet at house
But instances have modified, assures the basic supervisor of the FFGolf. The years of famine appear to belong to the previous. Compensated by “an awareness and a desire of professional players to be in this tournament”. “The Olympic event is once again part of the sporting heritage of the discipline, assures Christophe Muniesa. It is considered that this event has its place alongside those of the Grand Slam. »
A statement shared by Romain Langasque, who had replaced his compatriot Victor Perez at short notice in Tokyo. However, in 2019, the native of the Alpes-Maritimes had announced “that he did not dream of being an Olympic champion”. This outing caused him a lot of hassle on social networks. Three years after these declarations, his experience in Japan led him to reconsider his position. ” The fourth [tournois] majors that we play each year remain the goal of a career. Winning one brings more prestige in the industry. But, since 2021, my state of mind has evolved and with experience, I would say that the Olympics are up to these four majors..
Drawing on his Tokyo experience, Romain Langasque, 34e in the European ranking, even makes the Paris Olympics a priority. With the objective of winning a medal in 2024. Firstly because the meeting is given “at home”. Then, as a result of the competitors will happen at the National Golf, in Guyancourt (Yvelines), playground of the Open de France gents every year. “A real competitive advantage”, in response to Christophe Muniesa.
“Playing at home gives us the support of the public and that’s a real strength. I have played this course since I was a child during the French championships and, every year, at the French Open”, confirms Romain Langasque.
The Covid-19 air pocket
Before the deadline, the FFGolf wishes to intensify the gatherings at the National Golf. The goal, “To deliver this Olympic spirit to life, that the gamers profit from the indisputable fact that the competitors takes place on this course and to ensure that they place their participation in the event of their sporting calendar”lists Mr. Muniesa.
A signposting of the land not insignificant for the tricolor golf course, which has struggled to shine on the international scene in recent years. No player is in the top 100 worldwide, a first since 2019. In the ranks, the Covid-19 has left its mark. “The constraints were not the same in Europe and the United States, recalls the general manager of the FFGolf. The circuit left much faster there and, with the exception of Perez, few French people were able to play in America. So they dropped in the world rankings. And beyond that loss of points, golfers also underperformed when they had playing opportunities.”
An air hole that the players will have to fill in the two years that separate them from the Paris Games. Two years to use for the new generation to find a place at the highest level. Behind Victor Perez, Romain Langasque or Antoine Rozner, Julien Sale and Tom Vaillant could also represent France in Paris. At 24 and 20, they finished sixth at the World Amateur Team Championships on September 3. They will soon leave the amateur level for the professional world. “They carried out extraordinarily nicely and with good outcomes, I imagine they’ve the capability to be chosen for Paris”, ensures the general manager of the federation.