Martin Couvra, a victory changes everything

In the spotlight for several months, Martin Couvra confirmed this weekend in Almeria all the hopes that ffgolf placed in him by winning in what was simply his 11th professional tournament

by Andrea Gussoni
Martin Couvra, a victory changes everything
© Getty Images Sport - Octavio Passos / Stringer

In the spotlight for several months, Martin Couvra confirmed this weekend in Almeria all the hopes that ffgolf placed in him by winning in what was simply his 11th professional tournament. On Sunday, Martin Couvra made Challenge Tour history by becoming the 7th amateur player to achieve the feat of winning under the noses of the professionals on this circuit.

This success, the 4th for a Frenchman in the last 8 editions, propels it into a new dimension. “It’s just an incredible feeling,” declared at the exit of the 2nd play-off hole, the one incubated by the experienced caddy Olivier Elissondo.

I tried to play my best golf and luckily it was enough, so I'm very happy. I played very well today and my putter was hot. I made a lot of birdies and I still can't believe I managed to win. » Winner in the play-off of two players much more experienced than him (Pavan and McElroy), Couvra, who jumped 839 places in the world rankings (665th this Monday, September 11), tells how he managed the tension of a final round during which he came back 4 shots behind on the lead.

“I tried not to look at the scores but I saw the leaderboard sometimes. I am so affected. This is why I play golf. During the playoffs, I just tried to focus on the simple things. » Three more months among the amateurs… This victory is very special.
Now holding full playing rights on the Challenge Tour for the end of the season and the next, the young French hopeful does not intend to change his plans, even if this success will serve as an accelerator for his rise to the top .

“This changes everything because I now have a full category on the Challenge Tour for next season,” he relishes. I will turn professional just after the World Amateur Team Championships with France in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season.

I still have three months left as an amateur, so this victory is very special. »

DP World Tour objective

The last 4 tournaments of the season on the Challenge Tour could also prove decisive for the rest of the young man's career.

Thanks to a jump of 126 places in the general classification, this Monday he occupies 41st place in the Road to Mallorca. If he qualifies for the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final, at the beginning of November in Mallorca, by finishing the regular season in the top 45, he will be able to claim one of the categories on the DP World Tour for 2024 promised to the first 20 overall at the end of 4 breathtaking laps on the Alcanada course.

But there’s no question of getting carried away. At the age of 20, Martin Couvra has already learned to keep a cool head. “I'm going to play next week in Portugal and take every week when it comes”. To be part of the big Majorcan meeting, however, Couvra will certainly modify its program.

Rather than participating in the Cazoo Open de France from September 21 to 24 at the Golf National, a DP World Tour tournament for which he would certainly have received an invitation from the Federation, he should take part in the Swiss Open.

A choice validated by Pascal Grizot, the president of ffgolf. “I spoke at length with Martin yesterday and I had Mathieu Santerre, his trainer, this Monday morning to discuss the future. I approved their choice to prioritize the end of the season on the Challenge Tour.

This seems coherent and logical to me, I'm not worried... He will play other French Opens! » Then, Martin Couvra will benefit from a well-deserved week of rest to prepare for the home stretch with the Hopps Open de Provence in Pont-Royal, then the long trip to the island of Hainan, in China.

This last tournament of the regular season in mid-October is crucial to maintain its place in the top 45, since it is rich in points.