Absent from the European calendar for two long seasons due to the pandemic, the oldest tournament in continental Europe is returning to competition. 29 French will try between Thursday and Sunday to succeed Thomas Levet, the last tricolor to have won in 2011 on the formidable course of the Albatross, host of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Lionel VELLA, at the Golf National
After two editions – 2020 and 2021 – canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the oldest tournament in continental Europe (born in 1906) is back in the light. And life. The 104th edition of the Open de France, although with a prize pool of 3 million euros, certainly does not offer the field ofItalian Open disputed last week in the suburbs of Rome on the Marco Simone Golf Clubwhich will welcome in one year the 44th Ryder Cup in history.
No Matthew Fitzpatrick therefore, neither Rory McIlroyeven less than Victor Hovland or of Tyrrell Hatton at the start this week on the yet formidable par 71 of the Albatross, host of the Ryder Cup 2018 won by the captain’s European team Thomas Bjorn. This quartet had mainly come to measure themselves on a course that they all hope to play during the next confrontation against the United States.
MacIntyre on his creation of the Italian Open?
Despite these “defections”, the Cazoo French Open 2022 some arguments to make. 36th player in the world ranking, the Belgian Thomas Peterwinner at Abu Dhabi in Januarywill thus try to do better than a 13th place obtained here in the Yvelines in 2017. 48th in the world, the New Zealander Ryan Foxwho was not retained in the international team which faces between Thursday and Sunday the USA in Presidents Cupwill seek for its part to find a second wind (no top 20 during its last five outings) after a dazzling first half of the season: 1 victory, 3 second places, 1 third place!
Several recent winners on the DP World Tour are also engaged. Let us of course mention the Scottish Robert MacIntyre68th in the world, victorious on September 18 in Italy, the South African Thriston Laurentalso winner in the play-off at the end of August in Switzerland at the Omega European Masters, the German Maximilien Kieffer (Czech masters), the American Sean Crocker (Hero Open) and the 60th in the world, the Pole Adrian Meronk (Irish Open).
My primary mission is to regain pleasure in a place that has given me a lot over the years, especially in 2019.
Holder of the title for three years now, Nicolas Colsaerts will finally put his trophy back into play. And the most French of Belgian golfers, who is gradually getting back into the game after serious health concerns, is eager to take action.
” I’m glad to be herehe exclaims. My primary mission is to regain pleasure in a place that has given me a lot of it over the years, particularly in 2019. It will be fun to stroll the fairways of the National after three years. »
” The French Open has always been a special tournament for mehe continues. Coming from Belgium, we no longer had a National Open between 2001 and 2017. Due to the language, I often had to settle for a National Open which was not really at home. I’ve always had good relations with the French media, even chosen with the French public… It’s a story that started at the Lancôme Trophy in 2003… It’s been going on for a long time. I have always considered the French Open as a special tournament for me. To have won it in 2019 is the icing on the cake… »
Thomas Levet, 11 years and later…
Life member since 2019 on the European Tour, Patrick Roseau, 50th in the world, is also in the game. A presence in the Paris region for the less divisive of the American, holder of the green jacket since his triumph at the Masters 2018 but today “exiled” on the highly contested LIV Golf and its Saudi petro-dollars. With him, six other “dissidents” made the trip to France: Henri du Plessis, Sam Horsfield, Laurie Canter, Adrian Otaegui, Olivier Becker and Oliver Fisher.
29 English are in the running to try to join Thomas Levetlast tricolor to have won here at the Golf National in 2011. The Racingman, 54 years old since September 5 and now on the Legends Tourwill also be at the start this Thursday since he will have an invitation.
Above all, it will be necessary to closely monitor the performance of Victor Perez, 90th in the world and only third in Italy last Sunday, currently 16th in the European ranking (ex-Race). In its wake, let us mention Antoine Rozner4th in Crans-sur-Sierre and who remains on three franchise cups in a row, the “Texan” Paul Barjonwho is playing his first Open de France, or even the entire amateur French team who have just taken sixth place in the World Championships organized at the beginning of September in France: Martin Couvra, Tom Valiant and Julien Sale. The future belongs to them!
Photo: Planet Golf