Our man in Cannes Mougins brings you all of the action from behind the scenes at the Cannes Mougins Masters.
Roll out the red carpet
Mention the resort of Cannes and you instantly conjure images of Hollywood stars on the red carpet and the glamour of the annual Cannes International Film Festival. While, sadly, Megan Fox et al are not in town this week, the celebration to launch the inaugural Cannes Mougins Masters was nonetheless a glamorous soiree. You can’t help but feel a little Hollywood in Cannes as you drive through the stunning waterfront, passing the iconic Palais des Festival et des Congres which each year hosts the gathering of A-listers. Even sans red carpet it formed a recognisable landmark as the great and the good of the Senior Tour headed to the impressive Hotel Palais Stephanie for the Pro-Am gala dinner. There are certainly worse places in the world to sip champagne, that’s for sure.
Speaking of glamour...
It’s quite fitting that in these most glamorous of surroundings, one of the amateurs playing this week happens to be one of the most glamorous footballers ever to grace the beautiful game. Former French international David Ginola is playing alongside England’s Gordon J Brand in the Pro-Am, bringing a touch of Gallic flair to the fairways. As fan of Newcastle United – one of Ginola’s former clubs- your correspondent was only too happy to welcome the winger to Cannes Mougins and reminisce about old times at St James’ Park. Interestingly, while I naturally wanted to talk all things football, David was keen to hear all about The Ryder Cup having been an impassioned spectator. He is also backing the French bid to host the biennial contest in 2018.
Trip down memory lane
For many of the Senior Tour players, this week’s tournament represents a return to the picturesque Cannes Mougins which hosted the Cannes Open on The European Tour on 12 occasions between 1984 and 2001. One of the champions during that period was the 1994 winner Ian Woosnam, who takes his place in the field this week. Woosie also lost in a play-off to the legendary Seve Ballesteros in 1987 so Cannes Mougins is certainly a course that suits the Welshman. After proudly watching on as Europe triumphed against the United States in his homeland last week, the former Ryder Cup Captain could round off a memorably week for Welsh golf if he can pick up his fourth Senior Tour title here. Of course The Ryder Cup was forced into a Monday finish and, coincidentally, we have the rarity of a Monday finish here. Don’t say the omens aren’t there for a Woosie win.