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Thomas Levet: “I showed that I had the level to be at the start”

Six years after a final missed cut at the French Open, Thomas Levet is making his return to the formidable par 71 of the Albatross, who crowned him in 2011, thanks to an invitation. His 29th national Open. As such, he is the last Frenchman to have imposed himself on his land.

Lionel VELLA, au Golf National

We imagine that this French Open has a special flavor for you…

I won here eleven years ago. I feel like it was yesterday. It’s also good to see the players again… I lost sight of them because I no longer play on the same circuit as them but I continue to follow them on television. And it also allows me to see what is happening at the moment on the European tour… We see that the DP World Tour is less strong than the PGA Tour and needs help from time to time. It’s both nice because there is, I think, a lot of room for improvement, but it’s also worrying because you wonder if he will have the backbone strong enough to continue like this behind the American circuit…

Did you immediately accept this invitation or did you think about whether you still had the level to challenge the best players in the European Tour?

Above all, I said to myself: what can I do to bring more to the French Open? “For six or seven years, at the sponsor level, it’s still not great… A tournament is often built around outdoor advertising. I won the Senior French Open last year. We know that the US Open, the British Open and the USPGA invite the senior champion. I thought it would be good to make such a link with the French Open. And then from you to me, I think the guy who won the year before the Senior French Open is still largely competitive to compete against the younger players on the main circuit. Three years ago at the last French Open (Editor’s note, won by Nicolas Colsaerts), I would have been asked to play, I would not have been able to. Physically, I was not competitive. Yesterday, during the Pro-Am, I showed that I had the level to be at the start of this Open de France 2022.

The course has never been easier in the history of the French Open. The roughs are not penalizing, losing a ball this week is almost impossible, unless you put it in a water hazard…

Thomas Livet

Skip the cut, do you think about it?

Sure. It’s totally doable… Even make a top 10 if it goes well. At our ages (Editor’s note, he turned 54 on September 5), the only problem is the sequence of competitions. But on the Legends Tour (Editor’s note, the European circuit for the over 50s), we play less. This allows us to recover better between tournaments, to treat minor injuries, to keep the pleasure of playing. If I had to play 30 weeks a year like I did before, after nine weeks of tournament it would be over…

How do you find the course of the Albatross? We can easily imagine that you experienced it much more difficult than this week…

Oh yes, without a doubt. The course has never been easier in the history of the French Open. The roughs are not penalizing, losing a ball this week is almost impossible, unless you put it in a water hazard… I think it will score low. We can have a record in terms of final result. It’s going to be sunny this week. Now, if there is wind, it can upset everything.

Photo : European Tour

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