Showtime in France


A week after the year's second major at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southhampton, N.Y., a good portion of the world's top talent make their way back across the pond for playing of the Open de France (TGC, Beginning Thurs. at 9:00 a.m. ET) at the Le Golf National in Paris.
First played in 1906, it is one of the oldest tournaments on the European Tour schedule and has a stellar list of past champions including Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie and Retief Goosen.
Those slated to tee it up this year include Miguel Angel Jimnez, a three-time winner on the Euro tour in 2003, Paul Casey, Trevor Immelman and Robert Allenby.
Former champion and current Ryder Cup captain Langer will also be on hand as will Olazabal and Montgomerie.
Joining Casey and Immelman for the younger set will be Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, both of whom failed to make the cut at the U.S. Open but who will both be looking to get thier games back on track on the European Tour.
The Open de France marks a three week run up to the 133rd Open Championship at Royal Troon in Scotland and the beginning of the final push for players to try and lock up points for the European Ryder Cup squad.
The tour next week heads into Ireland for the Smurfit European Open at the K Club in Dublin then on to Scotland for two weeks, first for the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond and then on to the Open Championship where American Ben Curtis is the defending champion.
Headlining the French contingent is Raphal Jacquelin, Christian Cvar, Thomas Levet and Jean Van de Velde. The French have not seen a countryman win their national open since Jean Garaialde won back in 1969.
Englands Philip Golding will be back to defend the title he won last year, when he birdied the 72nd hole to win his first career title after 20 years on and off the tour.
The players are shooting for the $3.6 million purse, with a first-place check worth $600,000.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Open de France