Gregory Havret - A French Golfer Rises Above the Fray

Just before going into the final round at the 2010 US Open, Gregory Havret updated his facebook status:

"merci a tous.. sincerement, je ne sais pas trop a quoi m attendre, ce qui est sur c est que je me donnerai comme jamais jusqu au dernier shot, j espere vs faire vibrer autant que je vibre!! bises"

In other words;

"Thank you everyone. I don't really know what to expect, but what I do know, for sure, is that I'm going to give it everything I've got till the last shot. I hope I'll make this as exciting for you as it is for me."

Oh, and, "kisses". He added "kisses" which probably seems odd to the average American but.. cultural nuance... not to a Frenchman.

At that point Greg was getting ready to meet Tiger Woods, his playing partner for the final round. There were words of encouragement from Facebook friends with whimsical French names: "Aller Greg!" and "Vas y Greg ! On est avec toi!!" ... and one from me: "Go Greg!!!!" (very creative, I know) ~ And ultimately, Greg delivered brilliantly on the promised excitement.

Dustin Johnson... who held the lead going into the final round and had the kind of youth, cool and Pebble-Beach-pedigree that made him a "sure bet" prediction for many... floundered. Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods struggled valiantly but just couldn't put it all together. And so it was that Gregory Havret... who qualified for his first US Open with a 50 foot putt in a playoff... found himself the lone challenger to Graeme McDowell on the final hole. Alas his final putt for birdie came up short which left McDowell needing only par to win. And ultimately ultimately did.

But for Gregory Havret the experience was certainly inoubliable as in, unforgettable, and though a part of his heart is surely broken to have come so close, in world golf rankings he rocketed from No. 391 to 104th overall he must be very happy.

There's a huge potential for golf to grow in France, with the sport's inclusion in the Olympics, and with France bidding for the 2018 Ryder Cup. At Pebble Beach yesterday, Gregory did his part, prodigiously, to advance the cause. ~ I for one, hope we see more of him here in the future.

Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images North America)