Reserved and mysterious, they call him the Greta Garbo of golf; but that’s an unfair portrayal of Victor Dubuisson.
Instead, he is more like a character out of a Sergio Leone Western – doesn’t speak much, and always follows the golden rule: ‘When you’ve got to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.’
The French enigma, who forced the world to sit up and take notice of his phenomenal talent first by beating Tiger Woods at last year’s Turkish Open, and then by playing Seve Ballesteros-esque shots in finishing runner-up at this year’s WGC-Accenture Matchplay, could be the X factor for the Europeans at Gleneagles.
And Dubuisson tried his best to convince the media yesterday that he did not mind most of the hoopla that goes on with the biennial event, and that he is even enjoying the spotlight, as long as you don’t ask him any personal questions.
“I think I am like all the other players, I’m not very different. I won’t tell you anything about… well, it’s like if I ask you something personal, I am sure you will not
“I would describe myself on the golf course as probably a quiet and humble person. But then everybody is different when you are at your work and when you are outside with your friends.
“Honestly, you can ask the other players. I’m very funny and cool guy, but on the course, I’m not really shy, just that I prefer to be quiet and humble than the opposite.
“I really enjoy the crowd and people, all the expectation and the attention. This morning at like 8:30, it was really cold outside and there was already like 500 people waiting on the range. So it’s really pleasant and I think the least we can do is to give them back what they do for us.”
A leading French golf magazine, which Dubuisson did not name, is still paying for asking prying questions. He has stopped talking to them.
“I don’t really have any problems with the French press. I have a good relationship with them. It’s only one magazine I had a big problem with. Unfortunately, it’s the biggest one in France for golf,” he added.
“The problem is the journalists in France, at least before, they used to do interviews with golfers as they would do interviews with maybe an actor. They will ask you one question about golf and then nine questions about your private life, because they only want to make the story.
“Because people were not very interested in golf in France, they won’t read if it was an article only about golf. So that’s why it used to be difficult.”
However, his shyness was apparent again the moment a journalist compared his magical short game to that of late Seve Ballesteros.
“I’ve seen many recordings of him playing and yeah, he’s an amazing, amazing player,” he blushed. “When some people compared my shots with what he used to, with a few shots he did in the past, it was a very big thing for me. It was very emotional.”
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