Keith Pelley dismisses claims of French disinterest in Ryder Cup

Keith Pelley

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has dismissed comments made by French pro Mike Lorenzo-Vera about his compatriots’ alleged lack of interest in this year’s Ryder Cup.

In an interview with the New York Times, published earlier this week, 33-year-old Vera, pictured below, said his fellow countrymen “don’t care about the Ryder Cup”.

“Honestly, nobody knows there’s going to be a Ryder Cup in France,” he is quoted as saying. “Only the golfers know. That’s it. There won’t be many French there.”

Mike Lorenzo Vera

However, Pelley moved swiftly to dispel Vera’s claims, releasing information that demonstrates how, on the contrary, French golf fans have thrown their weight behind the biennial contest in record numbers.

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To date, almost half of the 51,000 daily tickets purchased (43%) have gone to French fans – a number which comfortably surpasses the 37% of 45,000 per day which went to Scottish golf fans at Gleneagles in 2014, the last time the Ryder Cup was held on European soil.

Ryder Cup 2018

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“The support we have had from everyone in France; the Government, the French Golf Federation and the fans has been superb, and these numbers bear that out,” said Pelley.

“I am aware there has been recent speculation in various quarters that the French public will not support the event, but this is simply speaking without the facts.

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“On the surface, I can understand why this might look like an attractive story for the media apart from one key point – it isn’t true.

“We have tremendous plans to make the 2018 Ryder Cup the best in history and we look forward to welcoming the tens of thousands of French fans to witness it, along with spectators from across the world.”

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