The return of Victor Dubuisson to the winner’s circle in Turkey yesterday is great news.
The Frenchman can be a bit exasperating for the media – he has been called many things, including the Greta Garbo of golf.
He is painfully shy at times, and guards his personal life with almost religious zeal. And of course, because English doesn’t come naturally to him, his answers are mostly short, if not monosyllabic.
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The same cannot be said about his golf. He may not speak much, but when his clubs start to do the talking, Dubuisson can whip the spectators up a frenzy.
The 25-year-old hits the ball a long distance, but it is his short game that is something to die for.
Almost like the legendary Seve Ballesteros, Dubuisson’s imagination and skills can extricate himself from the most impossible of situations – and plenty of that was on display as he won the Turkish Airlines Open yesterday.
It will remain a mystery as to what happened to him after the magnificent Ryder Cup debut he made in Gleneagles.
He said he faced personal issues that impinged on his preparation and sent his game on a downward spiral.
What those personal issues were, you can rest assured, will never be revealed thanks to his belief in total privacy away from golf.
Regardless, Dubuisson’s return to form is timely, not only for his own career, but also for the well-being of European Ryder Cup team when they take on the Americans in Hazeltine next year.
— Sport360° (@Sport360) November 1, 2015
His world rankings had fallen down to 69, a consquence of just one top-10 the whole year after starting with a tied fourth place in Abu Dhabi.
There is a huge premium in a modern-day professional golfer’s career to be inside the top-50, because that is the only way to make sure he gets to play all the majors and the World Golf Championship events, which then makes it easier to keep your ranking up and plan the schedule better.
From Europe’s point of view, someone like Dubuisson making the team is crucial.
Despite his propensity towards being a loner, he did prove at Gleneagles that he could be an excellent team man if handled properly. In the hands of senior partner Graeme McDowell last year, the Frenchman thrived.
He is a proven match play expert, and fans and experts still remember the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship final more for his heroics than the exp-loits of the eventual champion Jason Day.
Also, these are early days, but it seems very likely that the 2016 European Team will be short on Ryder Cup experience. Based on current form, players like Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald are not going to make it on their own.
So, the more players with past experience in the top of the rankings, the easier it becomes for captain Darren Clarke.
Great play by @JacoVanZylGolf in Turkey, 61-69-70-67, second behind Victor Dubuisson and a cheque for €888 880 (R13.5m!)
— Golf Digest S-Africa (@GolfDigestSA) November 1, 2015
Dubuisson won’t be going to Shanghai this week for the WGC-HSBC Champions, and that really is a shame. Dubuisson himself seemed upset when he found out that he did not qualify for the tournament despite the victory.
But he should be able to make an assault on Rory McIlroy’s No1 ranking on the Race to Dubai.
When he gets hot, he manages to maintain that for a few weeks, and while not playing HSBC Champions is not ideal, he will be a threat at both BMW Masters and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, where he has finished second and third on his last two visits.
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