Two-time Ryder Cup winner primed for Alstom Open success

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The European tour rolls on to Paris for the Alstom Open de France at Le Gold National, the Ryder Cup venue for 2018.

Although plenty of the field will hope to be donning the quirky team kit for Europe when the greatest matchplay tournament on the planet takes to France, first they must focus on claiming one of the biggest prize funds on the tour.

Graeme McDowell’s bank account last swelled with winner’s prize money when he claimed victory in the tournament last year, but he’s unlikely to top up his readies this time around despite being the 12/1 second favourite with Ladbrokes.

No player has defended their Alstom Open crown since home-town Jean-Francois Remesy did so in 2005. The fact only one Northern Irishman, Darren Clarke, has ever successfully defended a European Tour title also renders McDowell’s challenge insignificant.

Recent US Open victor Martin Kaymer is the market leader at 8/1, but considering he followed up his second major-tournament win with a T102 at the BMW International Open, we’d wager he’s on a two-tournament hangover.

Instead, the third man in the bookies’ race to claim the trophy is preferred, especially with his recent history on the course.

Francesco Molinari, 16/1, finished as runner-up here in two of the last four tournaments and has been playing consistent golf for much of the season.

The Italian has finished inside the top 25 in all but one of his last six European Tour appearances and was an impressive T12 at the BMW last time out.

For a home-nation hope, look to Alexander Levy, who at 50/1 has some impressive form behind him.

Like Molinari he was tied for 12th in Cologne and has been inside the top 25 regularly of late, bagging himself a spot in the upper echelons of leaderboards five times in the last seven events.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.