October 16, 2017 / 1:07 PM / a year ago

France hopes Ryder Cup will help break sport's elitist image

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (Reuters) - France is hoping to break golf’s elitist image in the country when it host the Ryder Cup next year, the president of the organizing committee said on Monday.

The biennal competition between Europe and the United States will take place in France for the first time from Sept 28-30, 2018.

“It’s a great honor, but also a lot of responsibility and the main reason we wanted to host this Ryder Cup is to break the elitist image golf sometimes still has in our country, and allow it to develop as it has in many of the world’s countries,” Pascal Grizot, the president of the organizing committee, told Reuters.

“Golf is the top individual sport in the world, but it’s not the case in France. There’s work to be done, and I think that by hosting the Ryder Cup we should be able to make progress.”

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk and European captain Thomas Bjorn were on the course of the Golf National 20 miles (32 km)outside Paris for a media event on Monday less than one year before the tournament kicks off.   

Furyk has represented the United States at the Ryder Cup nine times as a player, and Denmark’s Bjorn is the first Scandinavian to be handed the captaincy.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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