Legends Tour, French number 1 is not invited

Indeed Lionel Alexandre, who brilliantly won a playing right at the start of the year in Turkey and who currently occupies 46th place in the order of merit (1st French), was not invited by the Canal+ consultant

by Andrea Gussoni
Legends Tour, French number 1 is not invited
© Getty Images Sport - Naomi Baker / Staff

Can you occupy the place of best Frenchman on the Legends Tour, the European senior circuit, and not appear at the start of the only tournament reserved for over 50s organized in France? According to Jean Van de Velde, at the helm of the competition, the answer is yes… Indeed Lionel Alexandre, who brilliantly won a playing right at the start of the year in Turkey and who currently occupies 46th place in the order of merit (1st French), was not invited by the Canal+ consultant.

Difficult to take for the Provençal, who remains in a good 16th place at the PGA Senior Championship at the end of August near Aberdeen, his 3rd top 20 of the season, and who hoped to defend his chances at the WCM Legends Open de France, won the year spent by Englishman Gary Marks.

Legends Tour, situation

So did the decision to exclude him from the 11th tournament of the season belong to the European Tour? “No, it’s a choice of the organizers and first of all of Jean Van de Velde, host of the event,” regrets Alexandre from Aix because “in this tournament with a very small field (40 players) it was he who insisted on the circuit to have all of the eight invitations granted to the event”.

Your decision is ethically very questionable, unfair and unsportsmanlike.
Worried about its position in the ranking, since despite a particularly “locked” field of players (best 10 in the 2022 and 2023 ranking + the first 20 in the ranking in the list of career earnings) the French meeting also benefits from points counting towards the general classification, Lionel Alexandre had sent a request for an invitation several weeks ago.

A request that was not granted by the one Netflix chose to play, in its “losers” series, one of the infamous big losers in the history of sport. “Regarding your request for an invitation to WCMLODF 2023, we unfortunately cannot respond favorably to your request.

We regret it and wish you all the success you deserve for the end of 2023,” replied VDV laconicly in the discussions that Golf Planète was able to read. The Landais would therefore have preferred to invite several players to whom he is apparently closer and among them players who are not members of the European senior circuit...

A decision that Lionel Alexandre has difficulty digesting, who hoped that sporting fairness would be respected and who half-heartedly deplores a form of “cronyism” on the part of Van de Velde. In a very long email response to his illustrious compatriot, Lionel Alexandre did not hide his frustration, but also and above all his astonishment regarding the organizer's choices.

Excerpts: “When I learned that you had given an invitation to Marc Farry and Christian Cevaer, full-time residents of the Legends Tour, I said to myself that sporting logic should be that I also get one being ahead of them in the rankings , and having no exemptions otherwise.

But this was not the case and you preferred to choose players who were not even listed in the tour rankings. It is entirely within your right to give them to whomever you wish, this is even the principle of invitations. However, allow me to have a question about the sporting side of your choices.(…) You also know that the points from your tournament count for the ranking.

So by deduction, these points which could have helped me gain a few precious places, will ultimately cause me to lose some… (…)Is there really an objective and sporting choice in your decision? Allow me to doubt it.

My opinion is that your decision is ethically very questionable, unfair and unsporting. This disappoints me even more because it comes from a former player who made me want to pursue a professional career, who conveyed certain values to me, including fairness, integrity, and that all of that was decided in full knowledge of the facts.

Friday on the 2nd day of the Clodoaldien tournament, Lionel Alexandre, who sought advice from the President of the Federation Pascal Grizot before writing his response letter, expressed his sadness and his disappointment on social networks (see below).

Upon discovering the “injustice” of which the young “quinqua” was the victim, several French DP World Tour pros like Grégory Havret or Romain Langasque were also moved by a particularly cruel decision which could jeopardize the rest of the the career of Lionel Alexandre on the Legends Tour.