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France’s Clement Sordet writes ‘Pray for Nice’ on hat at British Open

France's Clement Sordet wears a black ribbon on

France's Clement Sordet wears a black ribbon on his cap with the slogan "Pray For Nice" written on the peak as he plays the 12th hole during his second round at the British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland on July 15, 2016, to honor the victims of the attack in Nice late Thursday evening. Credit: AFP/Getty Images / ANDY BUCHANAN

TROON, Scotland — Clement Sordet said he tried not to think about it. But that was impossible for the French golf pro and for virtually everyone else.

Sordet finished his second round at the British Open on Friday and then spoke about the tragedy in Nice, where a truck rammed into a celebrating crowd during a Bastille Day fireworks display Thursday night along a seaside boulevard. Officials said 84 people were killed and 202 were injured.

Sordet lives in Nice, “about 500 meters from where it happened,” he said. He wrote the words “Pray for Nice” in blue marker on his hat and wore it during his second round.

“Yeah, I tried not to think about it,” he said, “but that’s why I had this on my hat,” showing the words.

“I was just trying to enjoy my last day at the Open,” he said.

Sordet, 23, who played at Texas Tech, is in his second year on the European Tour, with victories in the 2015 Northern Ireland Open and 2016 Turkish Airlines Challenge.

He shot a second 75 and missed the cut.

“I woke up at 4 in the morning because of the early tee time,” Sordet said, “and I knew straightaway at 4. I got this text, and like some people were asking if we were safe, but we were here.”

He was referring to himself and his girlfriend, Marie, with whom he lives in Nice.

“She has family there,” said Sordet, alluding to Nice. “It was a big party [Thursday] night, because it was the 14th of July. So we had a bunch of friends [in Nice] and it was my girlfriend’s mom there.

“They are safe now, so everything’s OK. But I feel really bad for the other guys.”

National flags of every Open participant are flown near the first tee. On Friday, the French Tricolor was lowered to half staff, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, which administrates the Open, provided small black ribbons to be attached to caps or shirts.

“I’m really proud to be French, and I think we all need to support each other,” Sordet said. “It was nice of the R&A to offer black ribbons for the players to wear, but it was sad for me to have to lift it out of the box.”

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