Playing in the continent’s most prestigious tournament on their country’s greatest holiday should have been a day to remember for French golfers Victor Dubuisson and Clement Sordet.
It will be, for all the wrong reasons. Sordet, who move to Nice a year ago with his girlfriend, was woken up by texts from friends at 4 a.m. Friday to see if he had heard the news.
Early that evening, a 31-year-old man had driven a moving truck through a large crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, fewer than 1,000 feet from where Sordet and his girlfriend live. Eighty-four people were killed, and another 202 injured. Of the injured, last reports listed 52 of them as critical, 25 in comas. Of those murdered by the coward driving the truck, 10 were children.
Sordet had missed the news the night before as he went to bed early, due to play in the first group on Friday. After making sure loved ones were OK, he went out and shot a 75 for the second straight day, struggling out of the gate with three bogeys in his first five holes.
After a promising even-par 71 on Thursday, Dubuisson’s second round has looked like someone who stayed up all night watching TV and texting with friends and loved ones back home. After sitting at even par through seven holes, he has dropped six strokes between 9 and 14.
The 23-year-old Sordet wrote “Pray for Nice” in blue ink on the side of his cap and wore a black ribbon favored by several other players as well.
The Royal Troon lowered the French flag to half mast on the grandstand at the 18th hole. Sordet’s girlfriend traveled with him to Scotland, otherwise it’s highly likely she would have attended the celebration. Sordet’s mother had planned to go, then decided to stay home instead.