Three years ago Julien Guerrier was preparing for his Open Championship debut where he would line up alongside Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott. This week, at the ALLIANZ EurOpen de Lyon, he hopes to take another step towards joining them on The European Tour.
Guerrier became only the second Frenchman to win the Amateur Championship when he beat England’s Adam Gee in the 2006 final at Royal St Georges and to the victor went the spoils as he earned an invitation to The 2006 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and the Masters Tournament the following spring.
Playing the first two rounds at Hoylake with Stenson and Scott, Guerrier shot rounds of 75 and 72 to narrowly miss the cut but it was an experience he cherished.
“It was my best Major, the atmosphere was unbelievable and the fans are so knowledgeable of the game,” said the 24 year old as he prepared for the ALLIANZ GolfOpen de Lyon at Golf du Gouverneur. “And it helped having a great group with Henrik and Adam, two very nice players. It was a lot of fun and a great experience.”
Having got a taste of what it is like to play at the very pinnacle of the game, Guerrier has since been laying the foundations to his professional career and is gradually climbing the ladder. He has progressed from the Alps Tour and winning last year’s ALLIANZ Golf Tour in France, to the Challenge Tour where he currently plies his trade and is edging closer to his goal of a European Tour card. Currently 19th in the Challenge Tour Rankings, with the top 20 earning a place on The European Tour, a strong week in Lyon will consolidate his position as strives to join the likes of Stenson, himself a former Challenge Tour Number One, and Scott on the regular Tour.
“I have played at all levels now and have seen what it takes to play in the Majors,” he said. “For me it is a case of taking things step by step. The experience of playing the British Amateur in front of the crowds has helped me.
“I am playing okay at the moment and my putting is getting better. I played well at the beginning of the season but long game was not great. Now the long game has got better and I need to mix the two together. I will try to win one or two events this season but we have a lot of good players on the Challenge Tour and lot of good fighting spirit. You need to get top fives just to keep up there but hopefully I can get a win. The goal is obviously to make it on The European Tour.”
Guerrier certainly has the pedigree to make it to the big time and is hoping the ALLIANZ EurOpen de Lyon will be another step in the right direction.
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