The countdown is on to the first-ever Ryder Cup in France, and this week's HNA French Open at Le Golf National only serves to increase the anticipation for the matches a few months away.
Except, apparently, within the host nation.
Michael Lorenzo-Vera is one of 19 Frenchmen teeing it up in his national open this week outside Paris, and he tied for third at Le Golf National a year ago. But in an interview with the New York Times, Lorenzo-Vera explained that there is a general malaise among his people about the biennial matches coming to town.
"People don't care about the Ryder Cup," Lorenzo-Vera said. "Honestly, nobody knows there's going to be a Ryder Cup in France. Only the golfers know. That's it."
Lorenzo-Vera is currently ranked No. 108 in the world, and he would likely need a stellar summer to even move past Alexander Levy as the most likely Frenchman to merit consideration for a spot on the 12-man European roster. While the matches this fall will represent the first Ryder Cup in continental Europe since 1997 at Valderrama in Spain, Lorenzo-Vera doesn't expect many locals to turn up at the gate.
"There won't be many French there," he said. "There will be many more from England or Spain. Golf is a very private thing for people in France. Private courses for only rich families or rich people - that's it."