Judgement in Paris: Thorbjørn Olesen and France Prove Bubba Watson Wrong

Espen UldalContributor IIIJuly 3, 2011

Danish Thorbjørn Olesen had no thouble with the French fans in Paris
Danish Thorbjørn Olesen had no thouble with the French fans in ParisStuart Franklin/Getty Images

Bubba Watson claimed that Open de France is not a “normal tournament,” and the lack of security and the nature of the French audience was the reason that the player from Bagdad, Florida with hardly any travel experience did poorly on Le Golf National.

Yes, we are talking about the world-class golf course outside Paris hosting one of the oldest tournaments in the world.

Well, on this fine Sunday, Danish European Tour rookie Thorbjørn Olesen found himself in a pairing with none other than French Ryder Cup team member Thomas Levet, and as fate (and brilliant play from both players) wanted it, the fight for the title became a two-man race between Olesen and Levet.

Now, you would think that this would be a summer day in hell for the 21-year-old Dane who had already ended up second twice on the tour this season.

But that was not the case—far from it.

Olesen would also end up as number two this day at Golf National, as he missed a par putt that would have given him a playoff with Levet.

Not surprisingly, the French audience was ecstatic that Levet ended up winning the tournament, but what may have not been as expected was the fact that the audience carried both Levet and Olesen through the last 18 holes this Sunday with equally fair and devoted cheering.

This final could just as well have taken place in Copenhagen—that’s how fair these thousands of French fans were. Just like they have been every year.

When Olesen missed his putt on 18 and ended in a tie for second, fans felt his pain, and then they sheered their new champion, the Frenchman, Levet.

They cheered both Levet and Olesen when the two players left 18th green arm in arm, waving to the crowd.

Security? Well, you did not see much of that 'cause they did not need to show themselves this day either. But they were on the spot when they were supposed to be (in  slick trousers, designer shirts and tailor made dinner jackets), and they did their job so well, in fact, that they almost did not let Levet through to the 18th green.

This was an international golf tournament conducted to perfection.

Unless you are from Bagdad, Florida, and don’t like to go out much.