Francesco Fired Up For French Exposé
Open De France
Francesco Molinari heads to Paris in red hot form and stands out as worthy favourite at 14/1.
Dating back to 1906, the Open de France is the oldest national open in continental Europe, and was one of the original events that made up the European Tour. Whilst not as lucrative as many of the PGA Tour events, the prize money puts it in the top bracket of European tournaments. Barry Jaeckel was the last American to win it, in 1972, and Europeans have won the last fifteen renewals.
Le Golf National in Paris is relatively long by European standards, at 7300 yards, and when it rains, it plays longer. It’s an inland links set-up, with undulating fairways, severe rough, large bunkers, and water hazards. The course offers a tough test, and can throw up some unpredictable results.
Course experience is vital, and players need to be confident with the putter to cope with the enormous greens.
In The Bunker
A former winner of the Open de France, Martin Kaymer has only twice finished outside the top thirteen in eight attempts at this tournament, so it’s no surprise to see him prominent in the antepost betting. But his form going into this event is dreadful. After finishing outside the top fifty at the Players Championship he has three consecutive missed cuts to his name, and at 20/1 he doesn’t make much appeal.
Francesco Molinari has been in red hot form in recent weeks, recording top-five finishes at the Open de Espana, the BMW PGA Championship and across the Atlantic, at Memorial, and although he disappointed in the US Open after a good start, he played solidly at the Travelers Championship last week.
He has two seconds in this event in the last five years and heads to Paris as a strong favourite. Back him at 14/1.
There have been three French winners of this event in the last eleven years and of the home contingent lining up this year, Alexander Levy is the top-rated by the market. He has been a little hit and miss in 2015, but he finished third at the Nordea Masters earlier this month and performed with credit at the US Open, suggesting he is finding some form. He is yet to make an impact on the Open de France, but this could be his year and he’s worth backing at decent odds of 33/1.
After his starring role in last year’s Ryder Cup triumph, Victor Dubuisson has had a poor 2015, but his talent and potential are undoubted, and this could be the time to start backing him. After missing the cut at the US Open, he showed enough when finishing in the top twenty at the BMW Championship last week to suggest that he is coming into form, and at 50/1 he offers outstanding value this week.
*Prices correct at time of publication