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.
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:
Francesco Molinari 16/1 – with Coral – has been in great form on both sides of the Atlantic and I was lucky enough to be inside the ropes with him at the Open de Espana and he was striking the ball superbly and if he gets the flat stick working this week I think the title is his, he is playing that well.
Jamie Donaldson 28/1 – with BoyleSport – has been trying to secure his playing card on the PGA Tour and although he has missed the cut in his last two events he has had a couple of good finishes, particularly in the Players Championship and the Honda Classic where he had Top 10 finishes. Donaldson has played well on Le Golf National course and has had two Top 6 finishes in the last two years and being back in Europe I am sure he will do well here this week.
Thongchai Jaidee 33/1 – with Ladbrokes – It has been a tough year for the lad from Lop Buri, Thailand, but his golf game has picked up over the last couple of weeks and although he has missed two cuts he has made the Top 11 in 3 other tournaments from his last five events, including a runner-up finish at the BMW PGA Championship. Thongchai had a runner-up finish in this tournament last year and I expect him to be challenging again this week.
My each-way tip:
David Howell 40/1 – with BetFred – is another player who comes into this week in good form with four Top 10 finishes in his last seven starts which includes back-to-back runner-up places. Howell is another player that seems to enjoy Le Golf National track and has had a couple of Top 10 finishes here and in his current form I think we will see him challenging again this week.
Whether playing in front of a partisan crowd has been a problem in this event I am not sure but I think Alexander Levy 40/1 – with PaddyPower – is a good each-way bet at these odds, he certainly has the game to do well here. Its been a strange year for Alexander after getting off to a great start making the Top 3 at the China Open – he also repeated that feat a couple of weeks ago at the Nordea Masters – and had a solid US Open and should come into this week in confident mood.
My outside tip:
There are two very good outside tips this week Michael Hoey 110/1 with BetFred – comes into this week in good form with Top 20 and Top 10 finishes respectively from his last two events played and Graham Storm 250/1 – with Coral – who has a very good record here. Five Top 25 finishes from seven starts including third place two years ago says to me he quite enjoys teeing it up here.
For a full updated list of betting odds during the tournament go to planetgolfreview.com