With the appearance of the new Omicron variant, 5 French players out of the 7 present in Joburg to play the first tournament of the brand new DP World Tour, found themselves trapped in their hotel in South Africa and without a solution to reach France from the decision of all European countries to close their borders to passengers from Southern Africa.
A story that ends well since overnight, Golf Planète learned that the players had finally found a solution. What they have confirmed to us with relief.
Here is what happened.
The Josburg Open was not the dream start of the DP World Tour. Between bad weather and the arrival of a new variant, Thriston Lawrence still pocketed the trophy and Frédéric Lacroix landed a good top 5.
Due to increasingly inclement weather in the Johannesburg area, the Sunshine Tour, DP World Tour and City of Johannesburg have been forced to call the result of the Joburg Open after 36 holes.#JoburgOpen
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) November 27, 2021
Very quickly after this good result, a big problem appeared for our Tricolores: it was about the great difficulties to enter the hexagon after the cancellation of the following tournaments. Indeed, Great Britain then many European countries including France banned all air links with the countries of Southern Africa.
2 returned, 5 remained blocked
And Romain Langasque had managed to return between Saturday and Sunday and that Robin roussel had a KLM ticket to leave South Africa on Sunday evening, the other five Habs (Ugo Coussaud, Joël Stalter, Robin Sciot-Siegrist, Frédéric Lacroix and Julien Brun) present for the opening of the season had no solution to leave the country.
A canceled charter
So what solutions to get back? Most of the flights still operated were full or offered exorbitant prices (over 1000 € per ticket!). the DP World Tour announced to the players that they wanted to charter a charter flight to Amsterdam, but it was eventually canceled, putting many players in embarrassment.
Finally theFrench Embassy in South Africa was unable to give an answer to the five golfers: no flight chartered by the French state was planned.
The solution finally arrived faster than expected
Our five representatives locked in their respective hotels were then seriously worried about the situation: for several of them, the financial expenses to which this impasse led them made them fear difficult times.
In the uncertainty Sunday morning, disillusioned at midday, four of the five tricolors finally found a place last night on a plane to Amsterdam. Alone Julien Brun was still in Johannesburg last night but Team ST player Laurent is expected to leave South Africa on Monday evening as well.
A first stage of the new DP World Tour that our representatives will remember !!