INTERVIEW – 2013 was not a great vintage for French veteran, 45 years since the September. But its latest results, including his 17th place in SA Open Championship, let him look to the future with confidence. Retirement, this is not for tomorrow!
Four cards as per the SA Open Championship last week for the first tournament of the 2014 season on the European Tour, seventeenth arrival, it could not have started better for you.
It’s true! I play well for quite some time now. I expect some results. The small break of four weeks after the Portugal Masters (13 October) makes me feel good. This allowed me to correct a few things that prevented me to sign some high scores. In short, this recovery, I felt good throughout the week. I missed a few shots every day but four times under par, this is very encouraging.
The Trigger Did It Not Occur To You At The Dunhill Links Championship In Scotland On September 29 When You Take Seventh Place In A Very Tough Tournament?
Prior to that already, I had passages where I felt I was on the right track. But it is obvious that the Dunhill Links was an important turning point. Being ahead of the tournament in seven holes from the end gave me a lot of fishing.
Can We Then Say That You Start This Season Raring To 2014 Coincides With The End Of Your Exemption On The European Tour?
Ah completely! And then I have youngsters behind me pushing me Victor (Dubuisson), I always fight in training, which is good! (Laughs)
What Conclusions Would You Do With The 2013 Season Where You Have Crossed Nine Cuts In Twenty-Three Tournaments Played?
This is way hyper. Everything was average in all areas of my game My driving was not good, my putting just a little better. That is why there has been no great result (Editor’s note, only one Top 10). I was at the battle all year. I miss most of my cuts two or maximum three points. There is not a tournament where I have not been in the game in the second round. It’s infuriating. But when it does not pass, we can do nothing.
you Mentioned Victor Dubuisson. Do You Feel A New Impetus Around Player And A General View Around The French Golf?
What annoys me is they say all the time that the French golfers do not win, because journalists are never patients. You can not win every week and perform whenever huge seasons. When we look at the 2013 season of French, we had plenty of guys who were in position to win. And four of them have won. This proves that we all have the level to win. Stop pulling on the French players saying they are only 125th or 150th world. The truth is that between the 30th and 180th, there is no difference. We can even go to the 300th. Afterwards, there was a chance. One that allows you to win a tournament where many points are in. This is what happened to Victor in Turkey. I think it’s fabulous. 2013 has been an eventful year for the French course (Editor’s note, also Dubuisson, Jacquelin success in Spain, Bourdy Wales and Quesne in Italy). The guys worked as it should. And they are reaping the rewards.
According To You, It Does So Only Just Begun?
I am sure. The players are getting younger. What interesting is to see guys like Romain Wattel and Victor Dubuisson capable of winning big tournaments and aim much higher. Victor has a margin of unprecedented growth. He wins so far with his weapons but to me, it does not have all the weapons. When he goes to get them, it will be very hard to beat. It was World No. 1 amateur. And he will be among the world’s best in the pros. This is the logical next step.
Just After His Triumph In Turkey, He Also Referred To The PGA Tour. This Is For You The Next Step?
Unquestionably. This year, he will play at least a couple of tournaments in the United States, between Major, World Championships and several invitations on the U.S. circuit. Victor, we will see very little on the European Tour in 2014. He will play three or four tournaments that will allow him to be in the ranking of the Race but its purpose is the PGA Tour.
In This Logic, Meet In Gleneagles In September With The European Ryder Cup Team Source He Runs?
Ah yes, we must be prepared. He already has one foot in the team. He has yet to make a proper season and it will be folded. I want him to make a great season to land with full confidence in the Ryder Cup. In this regard, it would be nice wins Order of Merit of the Ryder Cup.
Another French Is It Likely To Accompany In Scotland?
For me any. The only problem is that other French are not exempt for Major and World Championships. And when you look at the schedule early in the year, it must immediately be in the game with the Desert Swing (Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Dubai). It will be very hard because it will smack a big tournament to hope to be part of the Ryder Cup team.
How Do You Imagine Your Own Season 2014?
I think play three tests more than 2013, so about twenty-six. We are fortunate to have been given more tournaments in 2014. In contrast, between early March and early April, there was little or nothing in the calendar. If you do not play the World Championships and Major, you will play two tournaments in eight weeks. Which is not much. I think I’ll play five tournaments after the Volvo Champions (9-12 January). Then I have almost two months break before enchaîiner twenty-six tournaments on the remaining thirty.
Have You Considered The Worst Case Scenario, One That You Send Such Year-End Beyond The 110th Place Of The Race?
No. I know I have the level to be well within the first 110. This does not have any problem. I feel much more confident. Calendar 2014 will be more favorable to me. There will be fewer periods break, unlike in 2013 when it was a real horror. We played two weeks we did not play for three to four weeks, resumed one week, it was anything. Me, I need rhythm. I need to play three to four weeks. Then take two to three weeks break. In 2013, it was not possible. This is why it was very embarrassing for me.