Dan Roebuck’s Open de France preview: Molinari’s accuracy to be rewarded
Sponsors Alstom must have dug deep to ensure the top-class line up that will tee up at Le Golf National for this week’s Open de France, with two recently top world-ranked players in the shape of Luke Donald (12/1) and Martin Kaymer (12/1) and the player current rated as the fifth best player on the planet, Matt Kuchar (14/1), vying for favouritism.
Kuchar’s presence is an odd one – unless he’s getting some very early practice in for the 2018 Ryder Cup, which will be staged at this layout just outside of Paris – and given his record of just one top ten and four missed cuts in eight starts in regular European Tour events, I’d rather pass on punting this year’s WGC Matchplay winner.
Donald would have made more appeal but as he’s rewarded each-way backers only twice this year, and his greens in regulation stats are off the pace, he is also overlooked given his current price.
As intimated, finding the putting surfaces could be key this week – the last four champions all ranked in the top 12 of the GIR stats for the week – and with that in mind it may pay to side with Francesco Molinari (25/1). The Italian hasn’t shown his best form this term but should be inspired at Le Golf National – a venue he has twice been runner-up at, including 12 months ago when he fired nine birdies in a final round 64, but lost out by one shot to Marcel Siem.
Alex Noren’s recent form of a couple of fourth place efforts as well progressively better finishes at Le Golf National mark him down as a player to follow at 25/1, while Peter Lawrie (80/1) has the accurate game to build on a season-best 10th place in Ireland last week.
My three off the tee – Molinari, Noren and Lawrie.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.