Tour News

Open de France begins three big weeks

(Photo: Bruce Young)
The European Tour is in the rundown to the Open Championship, beginning this week with the lucrative Alstom Open de France held at the home of the event for all but two of its last twenty three years, Le Golf National near Paris.

This event will be followed by next week's Scottish Open and then the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

Graeme McDowell will defend the title he won by four shots over Richard Sterne last year but it will be Martin Kaymer who is likely to start the favourite despite a surprising missed cut last week in Cologne.

Kaymer is a previous winner of the event and has played well on other occasions also at Le Golf National so he appears to be a real chance to bounce back from the disappointment of his effort in front of home fans last week.

McDowell has not really played Le Golf National well until the last couple of years but his victory last year was emphatic and his recent form includes a 6th place at the Irish Open two weeks ago so the chances of him successfully defending are good.

Francesco Molinari has missed only one cut in his last twenty two starts and has put together some nice tournaments in that time. He has played this event and venue well in the past being twice a runner-up. He looks a good chance to topple the more logical favourites.

Victor Dubuisson will carry the weight of a nation of his back this week as he chases success in his own national open. He has played with mixed fortunes this season but his runner-up finish in Sweden and to Jason Day at the Accenture gave an indication as to just how good he could be.

I like the prospects of Australian Richard Green. This is one event that Green seems to have a particular affinity with. He has been inside the top ten in five of his last eight starts in the event including a runner-up finishing 2004.

The Victorian was 6th last year during a then poor run of form, further highlighting that this is a golf course that fits his eyes. He has played well of late including when runner"”up at the Spanish Open and played well early in last week's BMW. There are some rather generous odds for Green at present and I would not be at all surprised if he was there or thereabouts on Sunday.

The only other Australian in the field is Wade Ormsby.

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