The French professional championship is reborn on the Médoc golf course

FIGARO INFO – Disappeared from the calendar for ten years, the event was reinvented by Bernard Pascassio and will be held from 15 to 18 June 2022 at the Châteaux circuit. With a lot of ambition.

From our special correspondent in Pian Médoc,

The French professional golf championship is preparing to come back to life. Organized by the Kalika company with the seal of the French Federation, the only one authorized by the Ministry of Sport to award a national title, the four rounds of the 2022 championship will take place from June 13th to 18th at the Châteaux du Golf du Médoc Resort- Course. “I firmly believe in this event because the title of French champion is highly symbolic”, notes Bernard Pascassio on the initiative of the project. We must find the Jean Garaïalde Trophy in the cupboards and dust it off before we give it to the next winner…

staffing

With an endowment of up to 150,000 euros, the French professional championship will, from 2022, welcome a field of 90 players distributed as follows: the top 40 players in the national ranking at the beginning of June, 25 players represented in the same ranking of the previous year , while 20 invitations are issued and 5 amateurs accepted. The final list of players present will be announced in early June.

“We chose the date according to the international calendar, notes the founder of Kalika. This falls during the US Open. French players will be the main protagonists. We count on their presence. But for me, the tournament has to be stronger than the players…” In other words, the Jan-Garaialde Trophy, last held in 2009 and won by Gary Stal, is legit enough to attract the best. If the best French don’t come, the organizers will no longer consider the dates of next year’s European circuit. “We intend to restart the event for a long-term lease, states Denis Fabre, who, alongside Bernard Pascassio, is the protagonist of this relaunch. We’re not making a move, we want to see it recorded over time and play at least the next three years on the Médoc Resort golf course. »

That this relaunch is possible from 2022, the organizers owe in large part to the arrival of a title sponsor: Maisons MCA (a construction company based in New Aquitaine that has managed around forty agencies in the Landes, in the Pays Basque…) by Serge Melchior are for committed for the next four years “Being French champion means being the best of the best”underlines Thomas Delage, Director of Communications, in the words of his boss, a golf fanatic (index 2), member of Arcachon, a club with which he was crowned French senior amateur champion.

“As a golf pro, you have to take risks. You don’t work in administration! »

Bernard Pascasio

“Without bragging sums up Bernard Pacassio, who is never stingy with good words, The Ryder Cup was able to take place in France thanks to the €4 million endowment from the Open de France. Incidentally, I’ve never paid a player for it because I prefer to put the money into the foundation. As a golf pro you have to take risks. You don’t work in administration! Today I want to help young French players. » And to continue: “I received a message from Raphaël Jacquelin that warms my heart. Among other things, he writes: “I will be available for the French championship. I enjoy playing this tournament and appreciating the efforts that have been made to revitalize it. » I want the players to be proud to be French champions! Given the challenge presented by the Golf du Médoc Resort golf course and a good level of staffing, I think we have the legitimacy to believe in it. »

Vincent Paris, Bernard Pascassio and Denis Fabre Antonio Davot

While he hosted the Lacoste Ladies Open de France on his course for three years (to be staged in Deauville in 2022), Vincent Paris is now delighted to see the French pros land in the Médoc. “The question of whether to go there or not did not arise for long, explains the general manager of the golf hotel complex, which regularly ranks among the most beautiful in Europe. Since inception there has not been a year without a professional golf tournament here, apart from the four years of work we have done. In addition to the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, there were the men’s French Open, Challenge Tour Finals, stages of the Alps Tour and the PGA Schweppes Championship…”

Appreciated by many French players (Havret, Pavon and many others) who have made it a privileged training location, the Golf du Médoc Resort is also the ideal location for an event that promises to become a pretty annual golf festival. “We intend to invite Jean Garaialde to present the trophy that bears his name, accompanied by the President of the Federation.”, notes Philippe Sabarros, called upon by Pascassio and Fabre to reinforce the organization. In this sense, a blue, white and red border could appear on the sleeves of the winner – in the manner that applies to the champions of France in cycling or skiing – just as a descent of “French legends” could be initiated in the morning of the 4and and last round of the event, like the starters of the Masters in Augusta.

“In 2023, with identical equipment, we could have a field of 90 men and 50 women. »

Bernard Pascasio

In 2023, the French championship should also be mixed. “We wanted this to be the case from 2022, explains Bernard Passassio, but the Ladies European Tour calendar already had a date in mid-June (Aramco Team Series in London, editor’s note). Too bad for this year. In 2023 we could have a field of 90 men and 50 women with identical equipment. That’s our goal. The endowment of the ladies would be the same as that of the gentlemen, in proportion to the female participation. » Obviously the project is supported by the title sponsor MCA, thematically open: “If MCA can work with other partners in the long term to develop the diversity of the French professional championship,” concludes Hugo Delage, we will encourage this. Golf is a mixed sport and carries values ​​of equality. » Note for… professionals.

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