French Golfer Roger Lagarde dies at age 86

French Golfer Roger Lagarde dies at age 86

France has always had an impact on golf by either hosting major events like Ryders Cup or producing outstanding golfers like Arnaud Massey, Catherine Lacoste, Thomas Levet, and many more.
Four days earlier, golfing world lost French golf pioneer Roger Lagarde, born in 1934, Roger was always meant to be a golfer because his dad was a golf professor in a golf course named Golf de Rouen and he lived there.

It was in 1939, when 5-year-old Roger held a club in his hands and used to roam around the course and not long after, he started to understand the game of golf better and also participated in first professional tournament - International French Championship at age 19 and to everyone’s surprise this young lad of Mont-Saint-Aignan town, reached the final of France’s premier golf tournament, after defeating Ernest Arend Jr. of America in semi-finals later, faced Great Britain’s Harry Bentley in finals and defeated him. 45-year Bentley appreciated Lagarde’s achievement and said “A shy, modest, almost effaced young man, the Rouennais Roger Lagarde, son of a golf teacher, is better than "hope", he is a real champion. He proved it yesterday by masterfully and repeatedly coming out of difficult situations” [Excerpt from a French Daily Le Monde].

When whole France came to know about who Roger is and what he has achieved for his country in an international tournament, but that was time when he was sent for military service and just vanished from people’s eyes, returned on June of 1955 and for more than three years he didn’t played any competitive golf until, 2nd October 1958, when it was announced that second edition of St Andrews Open was going to held in France, than there was no better blessing for 24 year old Roger to play golf again, he had a good tournament but Rest of Europe lost the 1958 St Andrews Trophy against British Isles 1-13 where Britain Isles won both events first foursome 5-1 later, singles 8-4.



Eisenhower Trophy (Photo Credit: Flicker.com).

6 Days later after his first international call now, it was time for second one, because on October 8th 1958 Eisenhower Trophy or World Amateur Team Championship’s first edition was organized by International Golf Federation and for forming a team, from every nation four players were sent to world championship and Roger was fortunate enough to get selected in France’s Eisenhower team, France performed really well as they finished eighth in final leader boards out of 29 nations and Australia were the first winners of inaugural Eisenhower Trophy.
For next nine years, Lagarde played various national/international tournaments and in 1967 Lagarde was given the golden chance to become captain of France national golf team in upcoming European Amateur Team Championship (1967) held in Turin, Italy and in his first tournament as captain he led France to runner-up finish after losing to Ireland.
Two years later, in 1969 Lagarde played his second European Championship, the 6th edition of European Championship was held in Germany, France had a poor result in that tournament and they finished 12th in standings, this shocked the nation because two years back Lagarde’s team was the second-best team in 1967 to twelfth in 1969.



European Amateur Championship 
(Photo Credit: EGA Twitter Account).

8th European Amateur Championship was comeback tournament for Lagarde, France started their campaign strong by winning first team match against host’s Switzerland, where Roger was part of the winning foursome team and got a tie in singles match, France’s score 5.5 to Switzerland’s 1.5.
France’s next match was against 7th ranked team in leader boards, Wales and yet again Roger won his second foursome match of the tournament but this time he didn’t played singles which was later in evening and eventually, team France defeated Wales by 4.5:2.5 and back to back wins against host and Wales, led them to quarter-finals, were third place team fought to sixth place team so, it was France Vs Spain, was a very close game as France won first foursome game with Roger Lagarde, lost second foursome match.
Next were five singles match, France won first one, lost second one, won third one and Lagarde lost fourth game now, after two foursome matches and four singles matches, score was Spain 4:4 France, it was time for final decider game between Spain’s Miguel Taya and France’s Phillipe Ploujoux, France lost final game 1:0 and total score after fifth singles game was France 3:4 Spain and France lost the match by just one point.
Under Lagarde’s leadership France won two, lost one game in 1971 European Amateur Championship and finished 5th in final classification with an aggregate score of 377.
 
Big hurdle of 1972 :
Start of 1972 saw Mr. Etienne Guyot, President of Fédération Française de Golf or French Golf Federation (FFG) asked Lagarde to become a non-playing captain for France and 38 years old Lagarde had other plans as he instantly declined this offer because he thought that he had still so much golf left in him and by being a non-playing captain, you can instruct and guide your fellow teammates only off the field but can’t participate to play the sport.
 
But this decision led two things:
- By declining the offer, Lagarde had to give up his captainship after leading French side for four years (1967-1971) and pass on his captainship to Claudia Cartier who accepted the position of being non-playing captain of France in 1972.
 
- Year of 1972 was one of the best years of Lagarde’s career as by not taking the offer of non-playing captain and staying in the team as a normal teammate not only led him to focus more on the game but he also won three tournaments in one year namely, National French Championship, Frayssineau-Mouchy Cup, Murat cup.
Because of this, Lagarde was selected in two international tournaments, St Andrews Trophy and World Amateur Golf Championship or Eisenhower Trophy, same year.
 
First tournament was the 9th edition of St Andrews Trophy (Rest of Europe vs Great Britain and Ireland) played between 4th -5th August, 1972 and for the first time in many years rest of Europe won the first event of foursome 3-2 but lost badly in singles by 1.5-8.5 and next day on 5th August, Great Britain and Ireland won St Andrews Trophy for ninth successive time after Saturday’s nine singles match resulted in a tie and Rest of Europe lost St Andrews Trophy by 7 points.



Eisenhower Trophy team of 1972
(Photo Credit: International Golf Federation).

69 Days later, Lagarde played his second world amateur championship (Eisenhower Trophy) in 18th October, 1972 at Buenos Aires, Argentina.
France led by new non-playing captain Claudia Cartier finished tenth in overall standings and USA were the champions of 1972 Eisenhower Trophy.
Also, this was the last time Roger Lagarde played both tournaments, St Andrews Trophy (representing Europe) and Eisenhower Trophy (representing France).
 
After all this achievement finally in 1980, FAA president Guyot understood the value of Roger and returned to his proposal and restored him to the status of captain.
1981 European Amateur Team Championship was the last international tournament Lagarde played and was lucky enough to lead the France amateur national team in his final tournament as a captain and player.
Along with international tournament, Lagarde also won numerous national tournaments like 4 Gounouilhou Trophy champion, 7 French Cup and 1 Frayssineau-Mouchy Cup.



From left to right Philippe Ploujoux,
Pierre Lordereau and Roger Lagarde
(Photo Credit: Golf Club de Rouen).

Few years later, Lagarde retired from professional golf and 9 years earlier in 2011, he was again seen in public eye by holding a club in his hands, accompanied by Philippe Ploujoux and Pierre Lordereau his long time playing mates, as all three had been invited for celebrating 100 years (1911-2011) of Golf club de Rouen, the club where they started their career.
In March 26, 2020 Roger Lagarde died near Rouen (administrative division of France) at age 86.
The world of golf will miss the French golfing maestro.

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References: French Golf Federation and Rouen Club of Mont-Saint-Aignan.
[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: GOLF CLUB DE ROUEN]

March 30, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

Remembering Jeev Milkha Singh's fourth place finish in 2009 WGC-Cadillac Championship

Remembering Jeev Milkha Singh's fourth place finish in 2009 WGC-Cadillac Championship

2009 Edition of WGC-Cadillac Championship is known for Phil Mickelson victory where he won a WGC event for the first time in his career but there was one more player, who equally played well but his performance in this particular tournament was forgotten in the history books and he is India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, today we go back in time to relive golden moment of Indian Golf.
It was a beautiful Thursday morning in Florida’s Trump National Doral course where, after first five holes in WGC-C Championship spectators and golfers were surprised to see a golfer from Asia leading in an international golf tournament that to in world championship, where he got eight birdies and a bogey to a strong score of -7 for a share in lead in round one.

Round 2:
In round two’s first nine, Jeev continued to lead after getting two consecutive birdies on first two holes and a third birdie in eighth hole to a total of ten under and he got a good start in second nine with a birdie on the first hole and another in twelfth hole and until thirteenth hole, everything was looking good for Jeev as he had got five birdies to a total of twelve under but it was unfortune as Jeev got consecutive bogeys in 13th, 14th hole and a birdie on 16th couldn’t improve the condition as he again got a bogey in 17th, followed a double bogey in 18th which cut short his score from -12 to -8.
And after getting one under 71 in round two, Jeev was on eighth position on the leader boards.


Round 3:

Jeev Milkha Singh (Photo Credit: India Today).

Jeev’s performance in round three was up-down, up-down as he got an eagle on the first hole then a bogey on third to one under to two under after sinking a birdie then, he got a bogey again on the fifth hole to come back to one under and Jeev ended his first nine with a birdie on seventh hole to score of -2 and his round two’s first nine was like this eagle-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie. Jeev had a poor second nine, where he started by getting a bogey on first hole (hole 10) but he fantastically recovered by getting an eagle on twelfth and a birdie on fifteenth to end round three on four under 68 and recovered from round two shock, where he went down from round one’s lead to eighth place in round two to third place after round three.

Round 4:
In final round’s first nine, Jeev got three birdies and two bogies to -1 and in back nine, Jeev got two birdies and a bogey to end final round on two under 70.
Total score of Jeev Milkha Singh’s four rounds in WGC Cadillac Championship was fourteen under 274 and he lost the win by five strokes.



Jim Furyk (Photo Credit: Golf Digest).

Jeev also lost his third place as he was overtaken by Jim Furyk on back nine of final day because after round three, Jeev was at twelve under and Furyk was behind him at eleven under and during final day both were going side to side until, second nine started where Jeev got -1 (two birdie and one bogey) to Furyk’s -5 (five birdies) and due to this, final score of Jeev was -14 and Jim’s score was -16, Jeev finished fourth on leader boards with fourteen under 274 while, Jim finished ahead of him with a two stroke lead and score of sixteen under 272.


Jeev Milkha Singh (Photo Credit: Golf.com).

Jeev Milkha Singh ended the tournament on high by finishing fourth in a stroke-play tournament of world golf championship, this is his best finish ever in a WGC event and that day, he made his fellow Indians very proud by his fantastic achievement.
[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: GOLF.COM]

March 28, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

Udayan Mane win’s his tenth professional title at Eagleton Golf Course

Udayan Mane win’s his tenth professional title at Eagleton Golf Course

Udayan Mane becomes second player to win three PGTI events consecutively

Last time a player won three consecutive events in PGTI tour was way back in 2007, when Ashok Kumar had achieved this feat in PGTI’s inaugural season and now, 13 years later Pune’s Udayan Mane won three PGTI events in succession.
Throughout the tournament Udayan Mane had a great average score of 67, due to this he had an edge above other players including runner up Veer Ahlawat.



Veer Ahlawat (Photo Credit: Ahmedabad Mirror).

Before round 4, Veer Ahlawat was having a huge lead of five strokes over Mane, Ahlawat started round four with a total score of -19 in comparison to Mane’s total score of -14, both got birdies on first hole of round four and after end of first nine Ahlawat’s total score was -20 with three birdies and two bogeys to -1 (of first nine) and at the same time Mane was ahead of him with four birdies, one bogey to -3 for first nine, total score -17 and now even though Mane had a good score, round wise ( -3) but then also Ahlawat was still the leader with -20.
In second nine, Mane started strong with a birdie on the first hole and later Mane managed only two more birdies in last eight holes to a total of three birdies, while Ahlawat who was the leader at that time, failed to manage a single birdie.
After round four, Mane got six under 66 in final round which increased his total score from -14 to -20 whereas Ahlawat got just -1 in final round to total of -20 so, both were tied and the tournament went to play-offs which eventually was won by Mane.
 
This was Udayan Mane’s third consecutive win in a PGTI tour event and second consecutive this year, below is the list of the three wins:

 

Tournament: Date: Winning Score:
Tata Steel Tour Championship Open 2019. Dec 20-23, 2019. 262
Golconda Masters Golf Championship 2020. Feb 5-8.
2020 
267
PGTI Players Championship 2020. Feb 11-14, 2020. 268

Mane won the prize money 4,84,950 rupees and before this tournament, Mane had 6,46,600 rupees and after it, he is on the top of PGTI Order Merit leader boards with 11,31,550 rupees from 75 players.

Defending Champion Shubhankar Sharma failed to defend his title and finished with tied 29 place and best performance from four rounds he played, was in round 4 where he got 3 under 69.
Next event in TATA Steel PGTI tour is Bengal Open 2020 at Kolkata.

[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: SPORTS STAR - THE HINDU]

February 15, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

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