Starts: 22nd September 2022
Course: Le Golf National, France
Length: 7,247 yards
Defending Champion: Nicolas Colsaerts (2019)
Designer: Hubert Chesneau and Robert Van Hagge.
Used Since: 1991-2019.
Fairways: Average, Undulating.
Greens: Average, Bentgrass.
Water Hazards: On 1, 2, 13, 15, 16 and 18.
Premium on: Approach and putting.
This course hosted the Ryder Cup in 2018 and underwent changes to the course prior to the 2016 Open De France, therefore the events between 2016-2019 are most relevant from a course form point of view.
European Golf Design, the firm tasked with the re-design, were also responsible for the 2010 course at Celtic Manor, Green Eagle Golf (Nord) and Marco Simeone GC.
The event was traditionally played in June/July as a rolex series event however was pushed back to October in 2019 and now fills a slot in September. Course conditions from the 2019 edition are therefore most similar.
Sunny. Wind to peak at 6mph.
Sunny intervals with a max wind of 4mph.
Sunny intervals with a max wind of 7mph.
Sunny intervals with a max wind of 8mph.
The winning score was 12 under par in 2019 whilst Alex Noren only won with 7 under par in 2018. 2015-2017 were all won with scores between 11-13 under par and we should expect a similar score this year.
Colsaerts had a couple of T11's previously but nothing special. 2018 winner Noren took a while to warm up to the course but had posted back to back top 10's before his win. 2017 winner Fleetwood had missed 4/4 cuts before his win in 2017. Course form helps but isn't essential.
Whilst previous course form might not be essential, course experience has been, with the last three winners having had plenty of experience playing this event before.
Colsaerts was having a poor year, with only one top 10 before his win in October 2019. Noren was in much better form before his win, with four top 25's in a row whilst arrived in red hot form too in 2017. Thongchai Jaidee was in fairly average form before his win in 2016. Form not essential, but has helped in some years.
Colsaerts, Noren, Fleetwood and Jaidee were all established winners on tour and every winner in the last decade has been the same. We should be looking for a classy winner this week.
With the 2019 edition most relevant, we will analyse the stats of the top four in 2019.
SG: Off The Tee
The top four in 2021 ranked 6-63-45-12. Strong drivers of the golf ball are preferred but not essential.
The top four in 2021 ranked 55-57-51-105. Driving accuracy isn't essential this week.
The top four in 2021 ranked 4-79-28-30. Distance over accuracy this week but not crucial.
The top four in 2021 ranked 7-28-8-12. Strong iron play is generally required here.
SG: Around The Green
The top four in 2021 ranked 43-57-35-101. ATG isn't essential this week.
SG: Tee to Green
The top four in 2021 ranked 2-34-9-28. You can putt your way to a big finish, as JB Hansen did in 2019. Strong ball striking is preferred though.
The top four in 2021 ranked 23-2-16-5. A solid putting week is usually required around Le Golf National.
The final four holes can play really tough, in particular 17 and 18 which were the toughest holes in 2019, whilst it is also a tough start with 1,2 and 4 all averaging over par.
Eight of the last eleven round three leaders have not been able to convert, most notably in 2018 winner Alex Noren trailed by seven and Graeme McDowell trailed by eight!. Players have also come from two, three, four and five back in the last ten editions. Don't be scared to take on the leader on Sunday if he is vulnerable.
Players We Almost Backed
NOTE - These are players who we shortlisted for this event but ultimately didn't advise to subscribers. If you want to find out who we did tip, you can subscribe using the link below.
Santiago Tarrio 125/1
Accurate driver of the ball who finished 16th last week. Scores got better each day and he's one to watch when on form.
Lucas Bjerregaard 200/1
Lucas was 3rd at Celtic Manor five starts ago and you'd be forgiven for thinking that was a flash in the pan given he's missed three of his next four cuts. However, his long game has been in tidy shape for each of those events and for each of the three cuts he missed, he was either on the cut number or on the cut number plus one.
Victor Dubuisson 200/1
Dubuisson ranks 15th in the season long SG: Tee to Green stats and drove the ball nicely last week. There's always a question of motivation with the fishing obsessed Frenchman but he should surely be pumped up for his home Open.