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BlogFrench Open Preview and Picks

French Open

June 29th – July 2nd, 2017

Le Golf National

Versailles, France

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,249

Purse: $7 million

with $1,135,714 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Thongchai Jaidee

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 29 of those in the top 100 and 11 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player in the field being #8 Alex Noren and #11 Jon Rahm.  Here are the other top-50 players in the field: #19 Francesco Molinari, #21 Tommy Fleetwood, #22 Tyrrell Hatton, #28 Thomas Pieters, #29 Bernd Wiesberger, #36 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #37 Danny Willett, #44 Russell Knox and #49 Ross Fisher.

Last year there were 28 top-100 players and 8 top-50 players so there a bit less.

The field includes 19 of the Top 25 on this year’s Race to Dubai money list.  Those players include #2 Tommy Fleetwood, #3 Jon Rahm, #4 Alex Noren, #6 Bernd Wiesberger, #7 Ross Fisher, #8 Hideto Tanihara, #9 Thomas Pieters, #10 Francesco Molinari, #12 Alexander Levy, #15 Fabrizio Zanotti, #16 Pablo Larrazabal, #17 Dylan Frittelli, #19 David Lipsky, #20 Matthew Fitzpatrick,#21 Jeunghun Wang, #22 Lee Westwood, #23 Martin Kaymer, #24 Dean Burmester and #25 Chris Wood.

The field includes 8 past champions: Thongchai Jaidee (2016), Bernd Wiesberger (2015),Graeme McDowell (2013 & ’14), Marcel Siem (2012), Martin Kaymer (2009), Pablo Larrazabal, (2008) Graeme Storm (2007) and Jose Maria Olazabal (2001)

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the French Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish. One last way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at French Open in the last five years or check out our brand new and sortable 8-year glance at the French Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the French Open

Player BMW International Open Travelers Championship U.S. Open Lyoness Open FedEx St. Jude Classic Nordea Masters Memorial Tournament BMW PGA Championship Dean & DeLuca Invitational The Rocco Forte Open Open de Portugal AT&T Byron Nelson The Players Championship
Tommy Fleetwood
(207.83 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP 4
(160)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(4.5)
Bernd Wiesberger
(172 pts)
T20
(30)
DNP T16
(68)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(19)
Renato Paratore
(156 pts)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP DNP DNP
Alex Noren
(155.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP T15
(23.33)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 10
(20)
Dylan Frittelli
(151.33 pts)
T14
(36)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nicolas Colsaerts
(147.33 pts)
T26
(24)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Francesco Molinari
(136 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T6
(30)
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(129.67 pts)
DNP DNP T35
(30)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Jbe Kruger
(126 pts)
T79
(0)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP
Mikko Korhonen
(116 pts)
T75
(0)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP DNP
Joost Luiten
(110.33 pts)
T14
(36)
DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T24
(26)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Eddie Pepperell
(103 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T16
(68)
T43
(7)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(8)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Andres Romero
(102 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Graeme Storm
(101 pts)
T67
(0)
DNP DNP T15
(35)
DNP T41
(6)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Haotong Li
(96 pts)
DNP DNP 68
(0)
DNP DNP T26
(16)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP 3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP
Alexander Bjork
(95.67 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP T15
(35)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Ian Poulter
(89 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP T40
(10)
DNP DNP DNP T35
(10)
T2
(50)
Shane Lowry
(86.33 pts)
DNP DNP T46
(8)
DNP DNP DNP T15
(23.33)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
Richard Bland
(83.33 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP 64
(0)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Thomas Detry
(83.33 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP 65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
(80 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Nino Bertasio
(78.67 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Alvaro Quiros
(77.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(88)
T22
(9.33)
DNP DNP
Johan Carlsson
(74.67 pts)
T67
(0)
DNP DNP 6
(60)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T18
(21.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Hideto Tanihara
(70 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Zander Lombard
(68.67 pts)
T67
(0)
DNP DNP T43
(7)
DNP T65
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 2
(66.67)
T35
(5)
DNP DNP
Andrew Dodt
(68 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP DNP
Jaco Van Zyl
(65.33 pts)
T20
(30)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jamie Donaldson
(62.67 pts)
T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 7
(36.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP
Matt Wallace
(62 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-20)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T38
(8)
Win
(44)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the French Open

Player BMW International Open Travelers Championship U.S. Open Lyoness Open FedEx St. Jude Classic Nordea Masters Memorial Tournament BMW PGA Championship Dean & DeLuca Invitational The Rocco Forte Open Open de Portugal AT&T Byron Nelson The Players Championship
Alexander Knappe
(-43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Chris Hanson
(-43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Simon Dyson
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Julien Quesne
(-33.33 pts)
T82
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Adrian Otaegui
(-33.33 pts)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Marc Warren
(-31.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Damien Perrier
(-30.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T42
(2.67)
DNP DNP
Justin Walters
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Ricardo Gouveia
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Soomin Lee
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

Hard to believe that we are 15 months away from the Ryder Cup which will be played on the same course that is holding this week’s French Open, Le Golf National.  This week’s tournament is the second of the Rolex Series which allows anyone in the top-50 of the world rankings an invite to play.  Even if you live in America and not a member of the European Tour, if your in the top-50 of the world rankings you can play.  It’s a perfect way to get a glimpse at this course under tournament conditions.  Now it’s not strange that of the 24 American’s in the top-50 of the world rankings nobody flew over.  But what is really strange is those European members that are taking the week off.  Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson took a pass.  We realize in the next three weeks the Irish Open, Scottish Open and British Open would be played, but it’s hard to believe that so many marquee names won’t play this event.

Still the good news that the field is not bad, gosh they even got Jon Rahm, who may be from Spain but will be making his first ever start in a true European Tour event.  The European Tour is loaded with young stars like Alex Noren, Francesco Molinari, Alex Levy, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Wood and Thomas Pieters who all have a very good chance of making the team.  So for them this is a good week to show European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn that hey, I can play great at Le Golf National and should be a part of the team next year.  A lot could happen, but a great performance this week could pay big time next year.

Course information:

  • Le Golf National
  • Versailles, France
  • 7,247 yards     Par 36-35–71
  • Le Golf National’s Albatros course will host the tournament for the 25th time, though having undergone extensive remodelling since last year’s event in preparation for hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup. Designed by Hubert Chesnau and opened in 1990, it measures 7,249 yards. Eduardo Romero (2005) established a new course record, which was matched by Kaymer on his way to victory in 2009, of 62 (-9).
  • The course, is on the outskirts of Paris on the land surrounding the Palace of Versailles, once the home of Louis XIV. It is a public, inland-links/target-style course that is regularly ranked among the top five in Continental Europe.  The course is dotted with links-style bunkers guarding vast fairways. But there are also water hazards that are commonplace on American-style courses. The players love it, and it will be a perfect risk-reward venue for Ryder Cup match-play drama.
  • The course has undergone some significant changes since last year, in preparation for 2018 so for a lot of players they will have to learn new ways of playing the course.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the French Open:

Key stat for the winner:

The Albatross course was built on flat farmland and manages to combine a links feel with American style target golf. The course has wide undulating fairways, with links style bunkering, water hazards and with artificially created sand dunes it offers a tough test of golf.  At the same time long hitters have an advantage and it’s a course that can be overpowered.  But in looking at the stats of the past seven winners have one trait and that is putting.  Those that putt well have won which shows that good putters will have a good week.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

The average Driving Accuracy ranking for the last 13 winners is 22.7, so accuracy is more important than power off the tee but it’s not been the be all and end all stat either.  Last year winner Thongchai Jaidee ranked T-22nd in fairways hit so you can see off the tee accuracy is important. Length is obviously not an issue so that opens things up quite a bit. Look for the winner to be someone who doesn’t like to muscle up with the driver, and just settle for using a long iron for control. Look at some of the past winners of the event they haven’t over power the course so looking for accuracy over length.

Water hazards come into play on 8 holes, and wind is often a factor on this relatively flat course.

Weather looks like it will be a factor all week, it will be hard to practice on the course which has experienced rain on over the weekend and on Wednesday.  Look for drizzle most of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with thunderstorms on Friday.  Sunday is a bit better but rain will play a factor everyday of the championship.

So the course will play soft and the players will be able to attack the greens.

 

 

 

Who to watch for at the French Open

Best Bets:

Francesco Molinari

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
2 T6 T26 T18 2 CUT T2 T25 T13 CUT T21 T26

A great record at Le Golf National, has been runner-up three times in last seven starts, don’t worry about his missed cut at U.S. Open has played well in the Spring.

Andy Sullivan

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T5 T6 T26 CUT

Guy has had a T-5th and a T-6th in last two French Open’s, that and his consistent play this year makes him a favorite.

Alex Noren

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
8 CUT T15 T37 78 CUT CUT CUT

Probably the best European Tour player right now, played well last year and will play well this week.

Best of the rest:

Jon Rahm

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

In his European Tour debut, looking to wash away his terrible play and attitude from the U.S. Open.

Bernd Wiesberger

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T11 Win T18 T13 T47 T62

Always seems to play well in this event including a win two years ago.

Tommy Fleetwood

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT CUT CUT CUT

Doesn’t have the best of records at Le Golf National, but is one of the hottest European right now.

Alexander Levy

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T56 CUT T35 T52 CUT CUT

Good play of late, he hasn’t played well at Le Golf National but that could change this year.

Thomas Pieters

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T16 DQ T29

Watch him, has been very inconsistent but that could mean a good week from him.

Solid contenders

Thongchai Jaidee

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
Win T10 T2 CUT T15 T26 CUT T31 T36 CUT CUT

Another past champion with a great record at Le Golf National, but hasn’t been that consistent the last couple of months.

Martin Kaymer

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T5 4 T12 T13 70 4 T6 Win CUT T7

Has a great record at Le Golf National including a win in 2009, but his game has been off and on since the Masters, I don’t like his missed cuts last week in Germany and at the BMW PGA.

Nicolas Colsaerts

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T22 CUT T59 T11 T11 CUT T54 CUT

Someone to watch, he’s been ok in this event but his game has been good since the Masters.

Joost Luiten

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T9 T18 T49 T47 CUT T42

Always seems to do well in this event, look for the good play to continue.

Long shots that could come through:

Ian Poulter

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T25 T4 T18 3 T30 9 T3

Guy looking to fight his way back into the top-50 of the world ranking, has played well at Le Golf National and think this will be a good week for him.

Lee Westwood

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T11 CUT T40 T18 2 T5 T33 T29

Guy hasn’t really contended in while but things could change this week.

Renato Paratore

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT CUT

Has played well of late, look for the hot hand to continue.

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