The DP World Tour stops at Le Golf National this week for the Cazoo Open de France, and, as well as the chance to battle for a share of the $3.25m purse and Race to Dubai points, it also gives players an opportunity to experience a course that will host next year’s Olympics golf tournaments.
One player who has his eye on representing his country in the Olympics is South Korean Tom Kim. He’s in the Cazoo Open de France field, and, speaking to the media beforehand, he said: “The Olympics is definitely up there in my mind. I’m trying to use this week to prepare. I want to play well this week but also use this week to get used to the course."
South Korea’s men have competed in the last two Olympics, with Byeong-hun An and Jeunghun Wang representing the country in 2016 and Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim competing for the country in Tokyo for the 2020 edition. However, neither year brought a medal, but Kim is dreaming of rectifiying that.
He continued: “Hopefully I can qualify for the Olympics, represent my country and I think it’s going to be fun. I think the Olympics next year when it’s here, obviously it’s a great test and I can only imagine what it’s going to be like coming down the stretch fighting for a Gold.”
In recent months, Kim has certainly shown the kind of form he would need to achieve his ambition, including a T2 in The Open at Royal Liverpool, and he admitted he was happy with the way his year has progressed. He explained: “It’s been great. I’ve had a great year. I played well at the Scottish, played well at the British, had a decent week last week, it’s been nothing but good vibes. I can’t wait to get going this week.”
Kim isn’t the only player in this week’s field with an appearance in the Olympics in his thoughts. Ryan Fox played in both of the last two Olympics, and the New Zealander, who goes into this week’s tournament on the back of victory in last week BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, would love to represent his country for a third time.
He said: “To come to this venue in the Olympics will just be fantastic. I’ve been lucky enough to do it twice now, in Rio and in Tokyo, hopefully nothing crazy happens before next year and I can come back here. It’ll be great knowing the golf course, I’ve played here a bunch of times, had a couple of good results as well.“
Both Kim and Fox are currently in prime position to qualify, with each the highest-ranked player in their respective nations.
The Olympics takes place between 26 July and 11 August.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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