In 2018 the Ryder Cup will be French for the first time in its history. The legendary golf tournament will be held at the Golf National, near Paris, from 28-30 September 2018. To tide you over until then, we asked the European team captain, Thomas Bjørn, to play along with this countdown interview…
France.fr: Are you ready ? Thomas Bjørn, could you give us…
... 5 words to explain what makes The Ryder Cup a unique competition ?
Thomas Bjørn: Passion + Excitement + Drama + Skill + Camaraderie. Why ? Professional golf is a very solitary pastime, but… when The Ryder Cup comes around for that one week, suddenly it is very different. You are not just playing for yourself, you are playing for 11 team mates and the whole continent of Europe. That brings a very different pressure.
... 4 European players to follow very closely this year?
Thomas Bjørn: I am not going to single out any players ! My job as Captain is to follow every European player closely and that is precisely what I will be doing over the next 14 months…
... 3 good reasons to travel and encourage your team in 2018 ?
Thomas Bjørn: 1. It is the first time The Ryder Cup has been played in France, so it is your chance to be part of history.
2. As stated above, the Ryder Cup is unlike anything else in golf, it’s something really unique.
3. Paris is one of the world’s great cities, why wouldn’t you want to spend some time in iconic locations like Versailles?
... 2 major French golf destinations ?
Thomas Bjørn: I have always enjoyed playing in the south of France, at venues such as Cannes Mougins and Royal Mougins. Not only are the golf courses fantastic, but it is a wonderful part of the world to be in.
And for sheer quality, the Yvelines area to the west of Paris. Obviously Le Golf National will be a terrific venue for The 2018 Ryder Cup, but I also think Saint-Nom-la Bretèche is wonderful.
... 1 personal memory on French greens ?
Thomas Bjørn: A lot of my favourite memories about France centre around the old Trophée Lancôme tournament that was played at Saint-Nom-la Bretèche around September time. It was always one of the biggest and best tournaments on Tour and you only need to look at the list of winners to see that. It is a pity we don’t play there anymore!