Q&A: Chris Francoeur, Former Ouimet Tournament Champion & Pro Golfer - MASSGOLF

Catching Up With Chris Francoeur, 2-time ouimet Memorial Tournament Winner Turned Professional

A portion of this interview with Francoeur is featured in the Winter 2022-23 edition of MassGolfer Magazine. The following is the full interview. 

MG: You turned professional in late August shortly after advancing to the round of 32 in the U.S. Amateur… was going pro always in your plan?

CF: Entering college my plan was just to have fun with golf and then get a regular job, however, as my game started improving, I decided after my sophomore year at URI that I was going to turn professional after I graduated. Thankfully I was given one extra year of eligibility from covid and developed my game a lot in Louisville which prepared me well for pro golf.


MG: A month later at a Korn Ferry Q-School First Stage qualifier, you shot an opening round 3-over-par 75, presumably not what you had in mind. How did you turn that around and shoot 66-69-66 over the next three rounds to finish just one shot behind the medalist score.

CF: That first-round 75 was kind of just one of those days where nothing really goes your way. To start off with that score in the first round of Q-school is definitely not ideal. Thankfully the weather that day was not good so I still wasn’t very far outside the cut line. I knew I was hitting the ball well and I just needed my putter to cooperate. In the next three days, everything came together nicely and I was able to go 15 under my next three rounds to advance.


MG: With that First Stage performance, you qualified for Korn Ferry Second Stage. Can you take us for a short ride on what transpired and what you learned?

CF: My first try at Q-School definitely gave me a lot of confidence. I finished 5that pre-qualifying and 2nd at first stage, so I knew my game was good enough to compete at this level. Missing final stage by a few shots was frustrating because I played great all week but didn’t make enough putts to get through. It’s really easy to sit back and try to find a shot here or there that could have made the difference, but you’ll drive yourself crazy doing that. I just need to keep pushing forward and be ready when the next opportunity comes.


MG: In high school, you were named the Boston Globe’s 2017 Division I Golfer of the Year… any shout-outs to your friends at St. John’s in Danvers who helped along the way?

CF: I still think I got a little lucky winning Golfer of the Year back then because Griffin Chenard had probably one of the best seasons in school history. Mark and James Turner and Steve Dilisio, who are still good friends to this day, were huge early on in my golf career there. I spent pretty much every day of every summer in high school with the Turner’s playing Bass Rocks, and I got to play alongside Steve for my first year at SJP. The three of them were so good and had a lot more tournament experience than I did, which was great because being around them I was introduced to the US Challenge Cup where I later ended up playing just about all of my junior golf prior to college. If it weren’t for SJP I probably would not be playing golf today.


MG: You won the 2020 and 2021 Ouimet Memorial Tournament… how does that rank among your amateur highlights?

CF: Both of those wins are ranked pretty high on my amateur highlights. Playing match play at a US Amateur is probably the peak of amateur golf so I would have to put that first, but I would put those two wins right behind it. Winning the first year was great, but defending the next year was really special because I remember putting a lot of pressure on myself to play well after winning the previous year. Probably not the best mentality for a tournament but fortunately I was able to back it up.


MG: Golf Digest did a pretty cool video on you… how did that come about?

CF: I was contacted by Golf Digest and Titleist saying they wanted to put together a piece on me for the US Open being a local this year. It was a really cool process; it took a lot of filming everywhere we went and those guys worked really hard. They traveled with me all the way from Louisville to Columbus and it came out great.