French Open: Paul Barjon’s beautiful day

No, you are not dreaming, thirty-nine years and six months separate the dean of the tricolor contingent of this Open de France, Thomas Levet (54), winner of the tournament in 2011 and guest in his capacity, from his youngest, Hugo Le Goff (14 years old), 2021 French amateur champion. It is all the charm (or the incongruity) of golf that gives this 104th edition the air of a family reunion, where hopefuls and elders, leaders and trimmers meet, all continental divisions.

In a tournament which remains despite all the property of the European Tour, therefore 100% British right down to the electrical sockets installed in the press room, this very Franco-French atmosphere says it all about the comfort, often decried, of this circuit. Between Frenchwe exchange advice, we congratulate each other, we pat each other on the shoulder and we gently sleep in the language of Molière at the exit of the registration.


The score of Dane Rasmus Hojgaard, who on Thursday equaled the Albatross course record.

The pschitt effect of the 2018 Ryder Cup

Paul Barjon, 30, discovers this cozy environment. This New Caledonian, living in the United States since he studied at Texas Christian University, learned his trade in the jungle of the Korn Ferry Tour, the American D2, from where he set off brilliantly to earn his place on the prestigious PGA Tour this year. Only Blue in this ultra-competitive universe, he has failed to keep his right to play for next season (15 missed cups out of 26 tournaments in the last twelve months), but there is no question of returning home.

Paul Barjon in action, this Thursday. (S.Boue/The Team)

His life is in Dallas and he will return there at the end of this French Open which he will contest “without much pressure compared to those who have to keep their card on the European Tour”. Without any points in play, Barjon momentarily took the lead of the tournament, Thursday at the start of the afternoon, thanks to a solid 65 (-6), thanks to “A super ball strike and iron shots that go like on PlayStation”. If he continues on his transmission, the current 502nd in the world could well change his life, a victory on Sunday opening the doors to the DP World Tour full-time, he who dreams of one day, “like Rory McIlroy”, to ride in turn the American and European circuits. “The tournament is long, he tempers. A good day is fine, but it takes four to lift the trophy. »

Whatever happens between now and then on this tough route of the Albatross, which he hadn’t taken “since the minimal French Championships”Barjon will have had an almost unprecedented experience. “Thanks to French encouragement, when the first birdies fell, I felt a bit out of place with the Americans when I play on the PGA Touris he having fun. I felt the very pleasant effect of playing at home. » The young man started from afar because it was not really the clamor of the 2018 Ryder Cup, the meager public present Thursday in the Yvelines determined, four years after this memorable raout, its pschitt effect on the power of attraction of golf in France.


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