As Alistair Tait writes on his blog, the century-old French Open has been cut from the schedule, 2 years after the Ryder Cup hoopla
Omitted: From the European Tour’s 2021 schedule, the French Open. The tournament, which dates to 1906 and includes a who’s-who of European winners over the years, was not listed among the 42 events on the new schedule, which the tour released Tuesday. As England-based golf writer Alistair Tait, an occasional Morning Read contributor, pointed out in his blog on Wednesday, the absence presents a crushing blow to France after the hoopla surrounding the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National near Paris. Tait resurrected a comment from Frenchman Jean Van de Velde, a past champion on the European Tour and a former Ryder Cup player, regarding the 2011 awarding of the biennial matches to France: “This will be a huge inspirational factor for French golf,” Van de Velde said nine years ago. “It’s a dream come true for France.” Added Thomas Levet, another Frenchman who won on the European Tour and played in the Ryder Cup: “It’s like getting the Olympics for us.” Europe rolled to a seven-point victory against the Americans. In the ensuing years, the anticipated golf boom in France hasn’t happened, though player participation and the number of courses have risen modestly, Tait reported. The French Open was not played in 2020 because of COVID-19, the first time the tournament hadn’t been contested since the war years of 1940-45. The tournament features a roster of winners that includes J.H. Taylor, James Braid, Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton, Bobby Locke, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie. The French Open, which in 2017 and 2018 had been part of the European Tour’s high-dollar Rolex Series, still could be added to the 2021 schedule. For now, though, one of golf's longest-running national opens is not happening.
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