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

Graeme McDowell win’s Saudi International 2020

Graeme McDowell win’s Saudi International 2020

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland stayed with the same score of round three in round four as McDowell got even par in round four and surprisingly his round three score of -12, helped him to stay in lead for final round and player ranked nearest to him were unable to catch him.
Before round 4, two players were closest to McDowell and they were:
 
1. Victor Dubuisson:



Victor Dubuisson (Photo Credit: Le Equipe).

Victor Dubuisson’s score in round three was -11, one less than McDowell’s -12 and he needed just two birdie or an eagle to win the event but Dubuisson got score of +4 in round four which reduced his score from -11 to -7 and he was certainly out winning contention and finished outside top five at T6.
 

2. Gavin Green:


Gavin Green (Photo Credit: Getty Images).

For Gavin Green it was nothing won, nothing lose because after round two Green just stopped scoring or going under par as his score in round 3 and 4 was even par 70 and every time he scored a birdie there was bogey wating for him to get his score to zero because in round 3 he got two birdies then two bogeys to score zero and in round four he got three birdies, one eagle but again he got five bogeys to score zero, Green finished nine under par for the match and tied third, amazing achievement by world no. 197.


Dustin Johnson (Photo Credit: Reuters).

From the above situation, one player took advantage of it and managed to squeeze inside top three and this was Saudi International defending champion Dustin Johnson who had an amazing tournament with 67, 68, 68, 67 and his final round score of -3 helped him to jump from tied fourth and to second place.
And this way Graeme McDowell won his 11th European Tour event after six years.

(COVER PHOTO CREDIT: SPORTING LIFE).

February 02, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

Brett Quigley win’s a PGA Tour sanctioned event after 19 years

Brett Quigley win’s a PGA Tour sanctioned event after 19 years

Stephen Ames fails to fend off Brett Quigley during final of Morocco Champions and misses the win by just a par.

Overnight leader, Ames was off-colour from the start of round three, in his first nine Ames gave away two bogeys within first four hole to +2, then he scored two birdies two under par and score of first nine was 0 and at the same time Quigley’s score of first nine was -5 because he got three birdies and a 40ft eagle on hole five so, Quigley’s total score after first nine was -14, two more then Ames score (-12).



Stephen Ames (Photo Credit: All Media).

In the second nine, Ames started to find his rhythm back as he got two birdies in a row in 11th and 12th hole while, Quigley had got just one birdie in first three holes of back nine, score after hole thirteen was Ames -14, Quigley -15 and still Ames was trailing by one and now the most amazing thing happened in final six holes of the competition, as Ames got two bogeys in a row again, in hole 14th, 15th while, Quigley got a birdie and bogey to score a of zero, in final three holes Ames wanted make a come-back and he did it by scoring back to back birdies in 16th, 17th hole which cancelled the two bogeys which he got earlier to comeback to -14 from -12 and Quigley missed birdies in last three holes but still he was leading over Ames by just one under par (-15), now in the final hole of final round, Ames needed a birdie to equal the score to -15 and challenge Quigley to a playoff but unfortunately Ames missed the hole 18 birdie and Quigley won a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event for the first time since 2001 Arkansas Classic.


Brett Quigley  teeing off 
(Photo Credit:  Golf Links).

Ames was happy with his final round score - 70 and said “I didn't give up, I kept trying, I grinded the round out. I still got 70 out of it even though I had four bogeys today. At the end of the day I didn't win, but I finished second. It's a good start to the year for me. I'm very happy.”
And on the other side Quigley was also happy with his performance and said "It's been so long since I won a tournament,"
"Just incredible. It's weird, I had a peace all week, I was pretty comfortable all week. I wouldn't say I was nervous until the last hole here on my second putt, but just felt comfortable and just felt comfortable here in Marrakesh."  
So, America’s Brett Quigley won an event after 19 years of wait and Stephen Ames got his best finish (T2) in PGA Tour Champions after three years.



PGA Tour of Champions Flagstick
(Photo Credit: PGA Tour).

We witnessed an amazing play of golf all week at Marrakesh in PGA Tour Champions and now players go to 14 days break as next PGA Tour Champions event will be on 16th February 2020, until then, Wadaeaan.

February 02, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

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