European Tour Analyst Julian Tutt is in Paris, France this week for the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National which will be the site for the 2018 Ryder Cup. It has been dry most of the week in France although some rain has fallen on Friday morning. The winds are up and it is cloudy today so he expects the scores to be a bit higher than they were on Thursday.
Lee Westwood, 3rd in the Official World Golf Ranking, opened with a 70 in the first round despite struggling over his first nine holes. Starting on the 10th hole, he had a strong finish to shoot one under par. The course is playing very difficult this year with lots of rough and a good bit of wind. Westwood will be heading to Royal Lytham with winning as his only goal because despite some great play in Majors, he has yet to win that first one.
Matteo Manassero has gotten off to a great start this week and if he is the low top 5 finisher not already exempt, he will earn a place in the Open Championship field. Tutt thinks that the Open Championship is definitely on Matteo’s mind in part because he idolizes Seve Ballesteros and Seve won two of his three Open Championship titles at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Matteo played in the U.S. Open this year and he would certainly like to play in the Open Championship as well.
Christian Nilsson has struggled in 2012 and Tutt said that he was very surprised to see him open with a 65 and the lead. He does not expect Nilsson to be leading at the end of the second round and wonders if the lead score will be lower than 6 under par because of the difficult weather conditions. While some are playing well in tough conditions so far, it is very easy to have just one hole transform a good round into a bad one.