The Ryder Cup will be played in France for the first time ever in just a few weeks.
But the French founder of the Evian Championship doesn’t think the event will do much to change French golf culture. “I’m going to be very nasty with my country,” Franck Riboud said in a press conference ahead of this week’s Evian Championship, according to a report from Global Golf Post. “My country is not a golf country. Even if we have the Ryder Cup it’s not a golf country. We don’t have the culture.”
Riboud believes that a French champion “at the same level of Tiger Woods” is what is needed to change the culture in France. There are no French players on the European Ryder Cup team, and the only French golfer to have won a men’s major championship did so in 1907. Two French women have won LPGA majors, in 2003 and 1967.
“Can you tell me which sport really developed because of an event? None. It’s a champion who pushes the young people and develops the sport,” Riboud said. “That’s what Yannick Noah, Roland Garros and Jean-Claude Killy did. We need a champion. Perhaps it’s crazy, but that’s the thing we have to dream about it.”