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Pascal Grizot: “We have to stop the damage! »

Always as ambitious for the Open de France, Pascal Grizot, the president of the French Golf Federation, regrets that the leaders of the historic circuits are unable to sit around a table to get golf out of the crisis caused by the arrival of Saudi Arabia on the chessboard of world golf.

François SCIMECA, at the Golf National

Pascal Grizot hope to take advantage of the arrival of Keith Pelleyboss of DP World Tour this Saturday at the Open de France to continue its mediation business and in passing give the Open de France the place it deserves.

“Keith Pelley will be there this Saturday but does not wish to answer questions from journalists because he has no new information to bring concerning the future of the tournament. We had serious hopes that the French Open would be co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour in 2023 but the product will not be ready before 2025 we were told”, says the President of the Federation, a bit disillusioned by the turn of events.

The DP World Tour will become a 3rd or 4th category circuit if this continues

Grizot still dreams of making the French Open a big step on a “world circuit” and regrets that the arrival of the Saudis was seen as a threat rather than an opportunity.

This summer, he even had the opportunity to do a game of golf with the president of the PIF (Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund), Yasir Al-Rumayyan, at the National Golf Course, and still hopes to mediate.

“We have to get out of this situation by offering a product that corresponds to what the historic partners of golf, spectators, television viewers around the world want. That is to say, to see the best players in the world in major tournaments on a planetary scale. Like the NBA, which does not hesitate to relocate. This would serve the development of golf. »

Logical continuation of the Ryder Cup

From the end of the Ryder Cup 2018the President of the Federation aspired to a great destiny for the Open de France. ” With Christophe Muniesa, we have been wanting to create a co-sanctioned tournament with the European Tour for several years. A tournament that would be similar to the WGC events. »

Unfortunately, the current situation with the emergence of the Saudis has thwarted the plans of the French who find themselves on the sidelines of the discussions between Keith Pelley and Jay Monahanentangled in their strategic alliance against an adversary with unlimited resources.

“We have to stop the damage. You have to think about the general interest of golf. It is not possible that they cannot sit around a table. The DP World Tour will become a 3rd or 4th category circuit if this continues. »

At the beginning of July, during JP McManus Pro-AmGrizot had the opportunity to discuss the situation with the two bosses of the historic circuits.

The Asian Tour ready to land in Europe

The president of the ffgolf is particularly concerned about a probable new dynamic coming from Asia.

L’Asian Tourpassed under the yoke of the Saudis, would indeed explore avenues of tournaments in Europe with the ambassadors that are the players of LIV Golf. Sergio Garcia for Spain, Henrik Stenson for Sweden and Martin Kaymer for Germany.

Never short of ideas, Pascal Grizot sees things differently. He imagines France hosting one of the 4 major tournaments brought, in his mind, to replace the now moribund World Golf Championship. “What we are proposing is that the circuits co-sanction 4 tournaments where the best in the world would be present, one in Asia, one in South Africa, one in Europe, one in Australia, with a final in Jeddah. »

The fourth federation in number of members dreams of benefiting from a major international event conducive to the development of golf in France, as is the case for tennis with Roland-Garros and riding with the Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping which brings together the best riders from around the world at the end of June at the Champ-de-Mars.

Photo © Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

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