The 2018 Ryder Cup might only be a few months away but almost nobody in host country France appears to care.
So says French European Tour Mike Lorenzo-Vera.
In an interview with the New York Times, the 33-year-old delivered a withering assessment on how significant an impact golf’s biggest matchplay event will have on his country.
“People don’t care about the Ryder Cup,” said Lorenzo-Vera. “Honestly, nobody knows there’s going to be a Ryder Cup in France. Only the golfers know. That’s it. There won’t be many French there. There will be so many more from England or Spain. Golf is a very private thing for people in France. Private courses for only rich families or rich people - that’s it.”
Asked to explain the ‘general French perception of golf’, he went even further.
“If you say to people in France that you play golf, they will say: “No, but really. What’s your real job?” Golf is not a good thing here. It’s for rich people and spoiled kids. That’s the image we have. Actually, we are trying to work on that. People like Alex Lévy are trying to make the game look more fun. But it’s a lot of work. I am just trying to be really nice to everyone.”
Lorenzo-Vera’s comments come as Le Golf National near Paris stages this week’s HNA Open de France, ahead of the USA attempting to mount a successful defence of the Ryder Cup at the same venue in September.