Le Golf National near Paris was opened in 1990 and has staged the Open de France for all but two years since then. The 7,331-yard Albatross course, which will host the Ryder Cup 2018 match, is among the toughest tests on the European Tour, featuring undulating fairways, punishing rough, vast bunkers and water hazards. Retief Goosen’s record winning score here of 17-under-par, posted in 1997, hasn’t been threatened in the past decade, with Tommy Fleetwood winning last year’s tournament at 12-under. Thongchai Jaidee and Bernd Wiesberger are among the other recent champions, while Graeme McDowell won back-to-back titles here in 2013 and 2014.
Ryder Cup 2018 Favourites
A host of stars are in France this week as they gear up for next month’s Open Championship and get themselves a flavour of the Ryder Cup venue, with the betting headed by world number two Justin Thomas at best odds of 11/1* with Paddy Power and Betfred. Jon Rahm, who won the Open de Espana in April, is a 14/1* chance with Coral while defending champion Fleetwood is at the same price with Bet365, Betfred and BetVictor. Coral are offering Alex Noren at best odds of 16/1* and most firms have Rafa Cabrera-Bello in their books at 18/1*. Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood will all be hoping for a good week to put themselves forward for a potential Ryder Cup wildcard, assuming they fail to qualify as of right.
Ryder Cup 2018 Tips
Andy Sullivan has a great record at Le Golf National, placing sixth, fifth and 13th since sharing 26th place in 2013 and even in such a strong field, he looks a good bet at 28/1* with Betfred. The Englishman threatened the world’s top 25 when he was at his peak a few years ago but now appears to be over the slump that saw him crash out of the top 100 by the end of 2017. He has posted four top 10s in his last five starts, including a couple of top fives in Italy.
Paul Dunne still has plenty to do if he is to force his way into Europe’s Ryder Cup team for the match in September, but he is among the European Tour’s leading players this season and his record of four top 10s in his last six outings speaks for itself. The world number 77 shared 13th place here last year, which should also stand him in good stead for another crack at this most difficult of tracks. Take your pick from a range of firms offering him at 50/1*.
Li Haotong made his big career breakthrough when he won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic back in January and although he hasn’t been completely on top of his game since then, he was a creditable 16th on his second appearance at the US Open last month. Li was third in The Open at Birkdale last year, while he tied for seventh place at this tournament, showing he doesn’t lack belief in the best fields. Bet365 and Betfred are quoting best odds of 55/1*.
*All odds subject to change.