French Open

It could have been a toss-up between the WGC and the French Open this week, but unlike 52% of our countrymen we are choosing to stay in Europe and take on the 100th French Open.

The course is an absolute beauty and certainly promises to be the best European Ryder Cup course in a very long time, when it hosts the 2018 edition. It really is a proper golf course that demands plenty of respect and generally tests a player’s scrambling to the max. The course usually plays very firm, but after a very wet summer in France will play a touch longer and softer than usual.

This course does appear to have a few real specialists and we have picked a couple of those. One we haven’t gone with is Martin Kaymer, who although looking like returning to form, still has a few moments with his chipping and may be stretched to bring out his best this week, despite a string of great results here in the past.

Here are our picks:
Lee Westwood 22/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £295
We shouldn’t dwell on his final round of 80 at Oakmont – he was clearly playing very well until that point. Westwood has always said that he loves this week’s course and has been unlucky in the past not to join the long list of great names on the trophy. Tee to green he is still one of the best, and with scoring never being too silly we certainly expect him to be in the mix on Sunday and hopefully notching a win that his play this season has merited.

Graeme McDowell 25/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £332.50
Twice a winner at Le Golf National, G-Mac has a proven track record and has been close to getting amongst it this season without quite doing the business. We’ve backed him a couple of times this season and stated that his desire to get into the Ryder Cup will be motivating him hard. Well, the Tour have controversially increased the points on offer this week to counteract the clash with the WGC and G-Mac will be confident of becoming a 3 time champion here, that will surely sneak him into Darren Clarkes thoughts.

James Morrison 70/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £895
There have been a number of higher odds winners in this event, and given his current vein of form and confidence on the course we think Morrison is the pick of those in this bracket. He led here after 3 rounds in 2011 and although that is some time ago, he knows that he can do it.

Nicolas Colsaerts 80/1 – Stake £10 e/w Potential return £1020
May have had a mare last week, but prior to that was showing a welcome resurgence. He’s got the length that will definitely help around the course. He is another who loves the course and will thrive on being back by UG Tips!

Rafael Jacquelin 100/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £635
We had to go with a homegrown player, and last week reminded us of just how good the smooth-swinging Frenchman can be. He’s on a good run and though he may not be the longest, has plenty of tools around the greens to contend in his national Open – wouldn’t it be great for a Frenchman to win in the 100th year?

Thomas Detry 200/1 – Stake £5 e/w Potential return £1260
This is very much a tip-off. This young Belgian is fresh out of Illinois and is tipped for great things. He had a runners-up finish on the Challenge Tour in St Omer a couple of weeks back and may well have a thing going on with French courses. Certainly one to keep an eye on for the future.

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