• Tony Jacklin raises concerns about 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris
• Believes the match won’t have enough of a home advantage
• “The French are not what you would call staunch golf fans”
The 72-year-old, who also played in seven consecutive matches from 1967 to 1979, believes Le Golf National won’t have the same home advantage that a match in the UK and Ireland creates.
“Relatively speaking, golf is a minority sport in France” – Tony Jacklin
“The only reservation I’ve got is that the matches are going to be in Paris and, relatively speaking, golf is a minority sport in France,” Tony Jacklin told Reuters.
“You like to think your home ground is very much an advantage and I’m not entirely certain that will be the case.”
The 2018 Ryder Cup marks only the second time in history that the event will be held on Continental Europe after it was hosted in Valderrama in 1997.
Seve Ballesteros captained Europe to a 14.5-13.5 victory in his homeland then (above) and, although fans turned out their numbers, Jacklin believes it was only due to an influx of British holidaymakers.
“When it’s in the UK we get tremendous support,” he added. “When it was in Valderrama in Spain in 1997 there were a lot of British holidaymakers there who supported it.
“The French people are not what you would call staunch golf fans” – Tony Jacklin
“But the French people are not what you would call staunch golf fans. It’s a little bit less of a home advantage in my opinion. The vast majority don’t know what golf is because it’s regarded as an elitist game – it’s the same in Spain and Italy.”
Do you agree that there will be far less of a home advantage at the 2018 Ryder Cup than, say, if it was in the UK or Ireland? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.