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Havret reaches 500 European Tour appearances

May 31, 2018

Grégory Havret joined an exclusive club at Gardagolf Country Club on Thursday by becoming the 40th player to play 500 European Tour events.

The three-time European Tour winner becomes the third Frenchman in history to reach the milestone, following Raphaël Jacquelin (582) and Thomas Levet (562), and was presented with custom-made video book which featured montages of still and moving images from the highlights of his career by Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director.

Havret reaches 500 European Tour appearances, © Getty Images

For Havret, the Italian Open is not just another tournament. In his first full season on the European Tour in 2001, the man from La Rochelle won his maiden title at the historic event at Circolo Golf Is Molas in Sardinia, and the Frenchman couldn’t have imagined that 465 events later, he would be marking a milestone appearance at the same event.

“I had my card in 2000 and have played 18 years on the Tour, every year, so reaching 500 means a lot for sure. It's a big number,” said Havret.

“I feel like it's a big family honestly, with all the friendships, we are pretty close. So many players have come to me this week and said well done, so that's been really great.

“All of my wins were pretty special. The very first one was Italy in 2001 and it was my very first year on Tour. I wasn't expecting to win on my first year and that helped my confidence for the rest of my career.”

After triumphing for the first time in Italy 17 years ago, Havret would have to wait six more years for his second victory. The wait was undoubtedly worth it, as he went on to defeat five-time Major Champion Phil Mickelson in the 2007 Scottish Open play-off at Loch Lomond.

Another victory in Scotland followed 13 months later at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, a result that moved him to a then career-high of 85th in the world.

“I would say defeating Phil Mickelson in a play-off at Loch Lomond at the Scottish Open, which is probably one of the most beautiful courses I ever played, is probably the one I will put at number one in those three. And of course, the Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles the year after, gave me a lot of good memories for sure.”

Without question one of his career highlights came in 2010, when he finished runner-up to Graeme McDowell at the US Open. Playing alongside Tiger Woods in the final round, his performance at Pebble Beach almost resulted in the first Major Championship for a Frenchman.

During that week in California, Havret said golf could be hell or paradise. It’s safe to assume his 500th appearance will make this week the latter.

“I feel fortunate to be here in front of you this week and I hope I keep going because I just love this game so much.”

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