Open de France 2014 – Jaidee A Red Hot Jewel
Open de France
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 fourteen 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
Martin Kaymer tops the antepost betting at 8/1 and such was the dominance of his eight-shot victory at the US Open, that’s no surprise. He also has a pretty good record in the Open de France, winning it in 2009 and managing three top ten finishes between 2007 and 2011. But after the high of Pinehurst, he came back to earth with a bump by missing the cut in the BMW International last week. He wouldn’t be the first player to go off the boil after big win and he’s one to be cautious of at short odds.
The other big name at the top of the antepost betting is Graeme McDowell and he makes more appeal than Kaymer. He’s been in consistent form on both sides of the Atlantic this year, bagging four top tens, and was at it again two weeks ago, putting in four solid rounds at the Irish Open. The defending champion has four other top twenties in this event and he’s a dependable option at 10/1.
If you’re looking for a contender in red-hot form on the European tour, there are few better candidates than veteran Thongchai Jaidee.
After winning his sixth Tour title in Sweden at the start of the month, he cracked the top five in Cologne last week thanks to a superb final round 65. He doesn’t have a great record in this event, but in his current form he’s worth considering at odds of 33/1.
There have been three French winners of this tournament in the last ten years and although he isn’t the shortest priced of the home contingent, Gregory Bourdy is worth a look at decent odds. After a consistent run of six top twenty finishes in seven tournaments, he missed the cut in Spain and Sweden, but bounced back strongly at the Irish Open, finishing eighth, and is a decent option at tempting odds of 50/1.