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Friday, July 8, 2016

Jean Van de Velde Joins the Champions Tour

A lot of newsworthy things happened on Thursday. The European Tour had to issue an apology for setting up the Castle Stuart Golf Links course too hard for the weather, while the USGA may think they made the opposite error since Mirim Lee shot a 64 at CordeValle, which tied a US Open record. Bo Hossler confirmed that, surgery or no, he's leaving the University of Texas and turning pro. And Jaco Van Zyl said he's skipping The Open and the PGA Championship to get ready for the Olympics. All very big stories in their own right.

But I have to believe that the most interesting story so far this week is that Jean Van de Velde is joining the Champions Tour this week. Here's the brief clip from GC where Van de Velde talked about it.

USAToday posted this article about his return. You may know that Van de Velde has been running the French Open since he stopped competing in 2011 -- he was front-and-center last week, because he's done a good job at the event. He's always had a sense of humor about his game -- and his disaster at Carnoustie back in 1999 -- and I love some of the comments he's made.

For example, this one about his return this week:
"You feel like you kind of miss the adrenaline of competing, and I have to say that's not something that goes away that easily. Unfortunately, my clubs are not really listening right now."
And you have to love his perspective on the game:
"I want to compete with the guys that I've been playing with over the years. I want to play. I stopped because, you know, not that my time has gone but you're 44 years of age, you have four children, you want to see them grow up, you want to be there a little more."
I've always appreciated Jean Van de Velde's ability to accept the 'might-have-beens' of his life and stay optimistic. I hope he does well on the Champions Tour, because he's the kind of person who will appreciate what they have and what he can do there.

The Dick's Sporting Goods Open -- which is played at the En-Joie Golf Club in New York, home of the old B.C. Open (named after B.C. the comic strip character) -- comes on today at 4pm ET on GC. If you aren't watching the US Women's Open, you might want to peek in on Jean and see how he's doing.

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