It has been ten years since the title of champion of France has been awarded to a golfer. The last time was in 2012, at the Hossegor golf course where a very young pro named Gary Stall won in the play-off against Jerome Lando-Casanova. Since then, this event created in 1911, whose name and formula have changed many times over the decades, had fallen into oblivion. But in a month, this sporting anomaly will finally be repaired since the agency Kalikathe society Atlantic Coast Homes (MCA) and the Medoc Golf Resort confirmed this Wednesday, May 11 at Pian-Médoc the resurrection of the French professional championship MCA. “We have obtained the agreement of the French Golf Federation to organize this championship, since by delegation of the Ministry of Sports only the federation is authorized to award the title of champion of France”noted Bernard Pascasiothe president of Kalika. “Along with the French Open, the National Open and the PGA France Grand Prix, this is one of the historic tournaments in French golf, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to relaunch it. »
Jean Garaïalde presenting the trophy bearing his name to Benjamin Hébert, 2011 French champion. (vraidevrai.canalblog.com)
Created 111 years ago, this French championship has known many versions over the decades: organized as such from 1911 to 1925, it was replaced by the National Omnium (open to pros and amateurs) between 1926 and 1967, then relaunched from 1968 to 2003 and endowed with the trophy Pierre-Etienne Guyotand finally organized under the name Professional French internationals from 2008 to 2012, five editions during which it was open to foreign golfers but offered the best Habs the national title. “This year, the tournament will be reserved for French pros listed in the national ranking, because we want to do something for the golfers of our country”precise Denis Fabré, director of Kalika. Open to 90 players, including a maximum of 5 amateurs, it will be endowed with the trophy Jean Garaialdenamed after the tricolor legend who himself has 12 titles in the event!
A considerable endowment
Organized from Wednesday June 15 to Saturday June 18 over four strokeplay rounds, with a mid-tournament cut retaining the first 40 and tied, the tournament will bring into play a prize pool of 150,000 euros. A considerable amount, representing almost four times those offered on theAlps Tour (the third European division) and almost equivalent to a Challenge Tour. Provider of this beautiful envelope as title partner, the company MCA founded and chaired by Serge Melchiorre is delighted to support the pros in France, and does not intend to stop there: “We are focused on the organization of this first edition, but our desire is to perpetuate the event and make it an unmissable event. The title of champion of France has great value in all other sports, and we hope that it will be the same in golf, that it will become a real honor. »indicate Hugo Laffitte and Thomas Delagesales and communication managers of this construction company of individual houses based in Gironde and operating throughout New Aquitaine.
And as the scene of this tournament, Kalika and MCA naturally chose the Medoc Golf Resort and its renowned Châteaux course, which in its 33 years of existence has hosted countless professional events in European Tourof Ladies European Tourthe Challenge Tour or even the French circuit. “Apart from a few brief periods when we carried out work to improve the layout, there has been a big pro event every year. I don’t think many French golf courses can say the same.”declares the director of the premises, Vincent Paris. While waiting to be able to jointly organize a French women’s championship next year, something that was not possible this year due to scheduling conflicts with the European circuits (LET and Letas), this rebirth is already looking promising.
From left to d. : Thomas Delage, Hugo Laffitte, Vincent Paris, Bernard Pascassio and Denis Fabre (AM / ffgolf)