European and US captains look ahead to the 2018 contest at Le Golf National
Press conference concluded the 2018 Year to Go celebrations
Thomas Bjørn and Jim Furyk today held their first joint press conference as respective European and US Ryder Cup captains for The 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.
Earlier in the day, the pair recreated history by hitting golf balls off the famous Eiffel Tower, 41 years after the legendary Arnold Palmer became the first – and only previous person – to do so.
The two captains used their press conference – which took place in the shadow of the famous landmark at the Pullman Eiffel Tower – to reflect on that stunt, meeting the French President Emmanuel Macron and all of the other activities which have formed the Year to Go celebrations.
They also looked forward to next year’s Ryder Cup, which will be held in France for the first time, at Le Golf National from September 28-30, 2018.
Bjørn said: “The last two days have been everything that France is. They have shown everything that it can do, and ever since I was appointed, there have been a lot of conversations about how we can deliver the best Ryder Cup ever.
“We’re off to some start, that’s for sure. It’s been amazing. European history is very special. It’s very special to each country in Europe, and when you come to this country, there might not be a country in the world that has a greater history and has more pride in its own history, and we have certainly lived that the last few days.
“France has shown me that it’s ready to take on one of the great sporting events in the world.
“We went to school yesterday and we saw kids on the golf course, and you realise that this country is now taking in so much to deliver a Ryder Cup that all of the golfing world can be proud of.
“This is one of the first times we come to one of the big cities in the world to play The Ryder Cup, and when this match unfolds over those three days at the end of September next year, you’re going to have Paris as a backdrop, and it’s going to be delivered in a completely new way. It’s going to be an event that I don’t think we’ve seen in the game of golf before.”
Furyk said: “I’m absolutely blown away by the last two days to be honest with you. My gratitude, really goes to Ryder Cup Europe and to the country of France for their hospitality and for putting on an amazing number of events.
“Last night we had dinner at the Palace of Versailles, which was an unbelievable, unbelievable night. This morning, breakfast at the residence of the President.
“Today, we got to emulate the same shot that one of my idols, Arnold Palmer, who hit off the Eiffel Tower about 40 years ago. I can’t imagine packing that all into two days. It’s been a phenomenal two days.
“This could really be the grandest setting ever in Ryder Cup history. So to be a part of it, I feel very fortunate.”
Le Golf National, France, will host The 2018 Ryder Cup from September 28-30, 2018, when Europe will try to regain the Ryder Cup following defeat at Hazeltine National last year. Bjørn’s team will be looking to extend an impressive winning record on home soil which stretches back to Valderrama in 1997.