Open de France
  • Full preview of the Open De France with The Golf Insider
  • Four value picks, ranging from $26 to $81 in the market

A trip to Paris (or rather, the outskirts of the city) this week for the Open de France.

A well-regarded tournament, this has a long history in the game and is usually one of the better events on the circuit. And “usually” is the key word here, as after hosting the prestigious Ryder Cup last year, the tournament looks to have suffered this time around from a move in the schedule.

That said, this is a tremendous venue and the golfers who compete here will be tested to the full by a challenging layout and this week’s not-too-kind playing conditions.

Here’s a preview of the action…

The Tournament

A long-standing event, the Open de France dates back to 1906 and has been on the schedule since 1972. It’s a tournament that has steadily grown in status in recent years, finding a regular venue at Le Golf National GC. However, after its rise to prominence, and subsequently hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup, the event has been pushed back from June to October, and as a result has suffered in terms of quality. This might be a temporary blip, as the venue is first class, but this year’s renewal isn’t a patch on some of the previous versions that we’ve seen in Paris.

The Course

As stated, it’s Le Golf National located in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris. This is a par 71 layout, measuring 7,247 yards. Built in the late 1980s, designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert Van Hagge, it was opened in 1990 and has hosted this event every year (bar two) since 1991. It’s regarded as one of Europe’s finest. A stadium-style course with not-too-wide fairways, water in play on a number of holes and greens that are tough to master and demand accuracy to find. Expect it to be a severe test, with recent winning scores around 10-under to 12-under-par.

72-Hole Record

268: Jose Maria Olazabal (2001)

18-Hole Record

62: Eduardo Romero (2005)

Past Winners

2018: Alex Noren

2017: Tommy Fleetwood

2016: Thongchai Jaidee

2015: Bernd Wiesberger

2014: Graeme McDowell

The Field

A reduced field of 120 players will line-up in France this week. Erik van Rooyen heads the market at $12 with BetEasy.

The Weather

A wet week in the French capital. Rain is forecast on all four days with the 50%-30%-70%-40% chance making Friday look like the best day. Temperatures will be in the high teens, but the wind speeds won’t be too severe at a high of around 10-15mph. So the course should play long, and the greens ought to be receptive.

Open de France: Value Bets

Marcus Kinhult (currently $26 with BetEasy)

For those of you who remember, in the pre-season Golf Betting Guide that I put together Kinhult was one of the players to follow this year on the European Tour. And he duly shed his maiden tag with a 175/1 win in the British Masters back in May. He’s yet to build on that success, but recent efforts, including a Top 20 last week in Rome, show that the young Swede is once again trending the right way. Back that up with Top 20s in the European Masters, where he closed with back-to-back 65s, and Top 20 in the Scandinavian Masters (Round 4 64) – this guy can play! On debut in Paris last year Kinhult was Top 5, despite a final round 76, so it’s a fair bet that he likes the course. His price isn’t huge, but reflects the lack of depth this week in France, and also his undoubted ability. At the odds, and back in form, Kinhult is well worth an interest this week.

Andy Sullivan (currently $26 with BetEasy)

Le National is very much a horses-for-courses venue with the same people repeatedly showing up on the leaderboard. Step forward Andy Sullivan, who has finished no worse than 26th here from his last five starts. He has two Top 6 finishes to his name, and has a game that is perfectly suited for this week’s test. Accuracy off the tee is vital here, and accurate approach shots are also key to succeed at Le National as danger, and water, lurk everywhere. Sullivan is one of the better drivers of the golf ball on tour, and despite his relatively poor season he still ranks inside the Top 50 in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee. Last week in Italy, Sullivan missed the cut but he actually struck the ball really well ranking 11th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 22nd in Strokes Gained: Approach. This week’s field is terribly weak and Sullivan is going nicely under the radar due to his MC last week. He’s a perfect course fit, and loves the venue, and if he continues to hit the ball from tee-to-green like he did last week I think he’ll feature heavily this week at a juicy price.

Edoardo Molinari (currently $81 with BetEasy)

Molinari continues to flush the ball from tee-to-green but an ongoing battle with the putter is stopping him from seriously competing for a title. That being said, this week’s test is perfect for the accurate Italian who, in his owns words, is playing better than ever from tee-to-green. This was backed up by the stats that had him ranked sixth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green despite finishing 40th. There aren’t many better course fits for Edoardo, and he’s definitely worth backing in this seriously weak field.

Jamie Donaldson (currently $81 with BetEasy)

There are course correlations between Le National and Celtic Manor, and Donaldson has featured prominently over the years on both courses. Donaldson is having a solid enough season considering he’s just back from a nasty hand injury that saw him miss nearly a year between October 2018 and May 2019. Donaldson has two Top 10’s to his name this season at the Scottish Open and Scandinavian Masters respectively, both of which are often played in breezy conditions like those forecast this week in Paris. Donaldson has two Top 6 finishes in his last six starts here and looks good value to feature again this week given the lack of competition and is liking for the course and conditions.

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