It doesn’t happen too often but the European Tour could argue they have the better looking tournament this weekend as the Open De France boasts an impressive field.
Le Golf National is the host course for the what is the oldest tournament played in mainland Europe and dates back to 1906. The competition celebrated its 100th stating last year and many eyes will be on the event this week ahead of next year’s Ryder Cup – which will be hosted here.
Six major winners will tee-up on the track located near Paris and seven of the current top-30 will be on show – including American-based Spaniard Jon Rahm – who is also favourite.,
Rahm has decided that he wants to join the Ryder Cup party next year, and has committed to the requirements laid out in order to make the team, which includes being a member of the European Tour and the Open De France will mark his first tournament on home soil since joining the ranks.
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“I’d like to say my journey on The European Tour started in Mexico, although it is the first time I’m playing a European Tour event in Europe,” he revealed.
“I’m obviously very excited for many possible reasons.
“It’s obviously a beautiful course. It’s a great design. It’s challenging in every aspect. You do hit almost every single club in the bag and courses that make you do that are really fun to play. I mean, I can’t think of anything bad to say about the golf course. It really is amazing.
“Hopefully I can keep my game up and hopefully I will be able to represent Europe, my first Ryder Cup in Europe in a great city and so close to Spain where hopefully I’ll be able to get some support.
“I really can’t describe how it will feel but I know it will be a pretty amazing feeling. I’m excited to try to play my best golf to make that dream come true.”
Rahm is favourite for the title but next to him in the betting is Italian favourite Francesco Molinari, who is a two-time runner-up in the event and clearly loves the course. Home success looks unlikely this weekend but Alexander Levy is looking the most likely for a French winner.
Defending champion is Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee – but the odds are certainly on a European winner in France this week.
Over in America, the Quicken Loans National takes place at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Washington DC.
Only ten-years old, the event has seen a number of big names taking the week off following the US Open at Erin Hills.
One man who challenged all the way in Wisconsin was Rickie Fowler, and he is lining up for the event and is a short-price favourite to take the win.
And Fowler insists he wants to keep playing to keep up his good form.
“I just want to make sure the game continues to stay consistent. I want to keep it trending in the right direction, unlike last year,” Fowler said. “
This golf course has a good look to it. It’s a ball-striker’s course. So I just want to keep the game simple and keep going forward.”
— TPC Jasna Polana Agr (@JasnaPolanaAGR) June 28, 2017
Returning champion is Billy Hurley III – but he has struggled this year and looks to have a struggle on his hands to even make the cut this week.
“It feels like more pressure. And that’s the hard thing about golf,” he said.
“Everyone wants you to play well at certain times but you don’t know when it’s going to happen. I’m going to play well at some point, if you could tell me what those five weeks are, then I could shorten my travel schedule a lot.”
The pro’s point of view…
Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.
As you will know I have been signing Tommy Fleetwood’s praises for a long time and he will want to do well on the Ryder Cup track this week, so I am going with him in France.
In America, I think Patrick Reed is long over due and can see him being in contention in Maryland.
The Bookie says…
We caught up with BoyleSports golf trader Darren Hughes ahead of the weekend’s action to gauge the markets and ask him about our fancies.
Rickie Fowler is the short-price favourite in America but we have had very little interest so far and could well hit double digits before he Tees off on Thursday.
Looking at this one, at the top of the market Paddy Reed is well overdue. There are three interesting players that we have seen at long odds.. Morgan Hoffman, Grayson Murray & Cameron Tringale – all 100/1. There will also be plenty of Interest in David Lingmerth too – he won on Web.com round this course a few years back.
In Europe we have Jon Rahm favourite in France. Chalked up at 14/1 early doors but that was very quickly snapped up…slightly surprising seeing he has missed three out of the last four cuts…in saying that, this is a future World No.1 so he could make the 14/1 quote look very silly come Sunday if he’s on a going week.
But a tight course like this is right up Francesco Molinari’s street. He’ll most definitely be in the mix up over the weekend – hence him being second favourite.
Of the rest Bernd Wiesberger is certainly a player to follow on this track (or any track for that matter)… He won here in 2015 and probably the most consistent performer on the European Tour this year – I can’t remember the last time he missed a cut.
One other I like the look of Ian Poulter at around the 40/1 mark. Has three solid enough efforts since his fantastic second place finish at Sawgrass. He also has four top 10s Here from his last seven starts.
TheGamblingTimes.com’s Graeme Bailey brings you his golfing opinion
It looks a very good field in France this week, I think Alexander Levy could go well on home soil but any bets you do I would include Rahm and Molinari.
For the National at Potomac, I just think Fowler’s price is too short – so for me I would be looking at some value in this one and I like the look of Tony Finau and maybe even Bryson DeChambeau is due.