The venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup, Le Golf National plays host to this week’s Open de France which will be played over the Albatross course that surrounds the Chateau of Versailles, once home of King Louis XIV and one of three courses that make up Le Golf National.
The French Open is one of the oldest Open Championships played in Europe, the first event was won by Arnaud Massy who then went onto win the championship three more times. He also won the Open Championship held at Royal Liverpool in 1907, becoming the first none British player to win the event.
Other major winners who have won the Open de France reads like a who’s who of golf and includes JH Taylor, James Braid, George Duncan, Walter Hagen, Bobby Locke, Byron Nelson, Kel Nagle, Roberto De Vicenzo, David Graham, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Retief Goosen, Jose Maria Olazabal and Martin Kaymer.
In 1985, the French Golf Federation’s Executive Committee decided they wanted to give the Open de France a permanent home and came up with a plan to build the Le National Club, it took three years to construct and was open for play in 1990.
Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge designed the 6,854-yard Albatross course and although built on flat farmland it manages to combine a links feel with American style target golf. The course has wide undulating fairways, with links style bunkering, water hazards and with artificially created sand dunes it offers a tough test of golf.
My tips to win:
I did tip Graeme McDowell 16/1 to do well at last week’s Irish Open but a third round 73 put paid to any chances he had at Royal Portrush, but two second place finishes and a third so far this year shows that the lad from Portrush is back to his best.
Nicolas Colsaerts 40/1 had a disastrous second round at the Irish Open to miss the cut, but his record this year is excellent with a win at the Volvo World Match Play. He has six other Top-10 finishes, three of those finishing in the Top-5.
What a season it’s turning out to be for Rafa Cabrera-Bello 40/1 with a win at the Dubai Desert Classic and three other Top-5 finishes, including his second place at last week’s Irish Open, which he secured with a final round 66 so will be coming into this week full of confidence.
My each-way picks:
I did think this was going to be a good year for Simon Dyson 45/1 and that he could even make the step up to winning a major championship but its not panned out that way, with only six Top-25 finishes from his twelve starts, although one of those was his first Top-10 of the season at last weeks Irish Open, firing a final round 67.
Good outside bets:
A final round 66 saw Fabrizio Zanotti 75/1 secure second place at last week’s Irish Open, his second Top-15 finish in a row. The Paraguayan has made steady progress this year and hopefully he will be taking that newfound confidence into this week’s Open de France.
It’s been a good year for Australian Marcus Fraser 80/1 with three Top-5 finishes, all that is needed now is to take the next step and add to his two European Tour wins, his second place finish at the BMW International Open shows that he’s not that far away.
For updated betting odds during the tournament go to planetgolfreview.com