Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European Tour: Amundi Open de France Preview

European Tour: Amundi Open de France Preview

Golfer admires shot

This year’s edition of the Open de France has been brought back by five months and doesn’t have Rolex Series status. This is one of the central reasons that the field is quite undercooked this week - that and the massive CJ Cup event in Korea this week. 

The European Tour 2019 | Amundi Open de France
Le Golf National, Paris, France
Thursday 17 October 2019 - Sunday 20 October 2019

Last week’s Rolex Series event in Italy culminated in a nail-biting victory for Bernd Wiesberger. This year’s edition of the Open de France has been brought back by five months and doesn’t have Rolex Series status. This is one of the central reasons that the field is quite undercooked this week - that and the massive CJ Cup event in Korea this week. This is actually the oldest national golf tournament in Continental Europe, dating all the way back to 1906. Arnaud Massey, winner of the 1907 Open Championship, won the first two editions of this event in 1906 and 1907. Much like last week’s Italian Open, the Open de France has been a fixture on the European Tour since 1972. 

Le Golf National was opened in 1990 and has been a mainstay for this event. Le Golf National in Paris will host this event for the 27th time this year, which is a record for this tournament. Aside from 1999 and 2001, this golf course has hosted every single event since 1990. This is not the type of low-scoring extravaganza that Rory McIlroy has so openly decried. It is a stadium style course designed by Humbert Chesneau and Robert Van Haage. The exposed fairways vary in width, but the fairway really has to be found. What’s really critical here is what you do from the fairway. Eight of the last 14 winners have finished inside the top 3 in greens in regulation. Clearly last year’s Ryder Cup will be a strong reference point, which perfectly illustrated the necessity of finding the fairway. 

Defending champion Alex Noren makes little sense to me as a favourite given his recent form, despite being something of Le Golf National specialist. Frenchman Mike Lorenzo Vera will be a crowd favourite this week and seems in far better shape to compete this week. In that vein, Alfred Dunhill Links Champion Victor Perez could be a greater threat at a better price. Erik Van Rooyen has been one of the most consistent performers on tour this year, though one wonders whether his bazooka approach may be slightly too overstated for this more surgical test. Elsewhere, the likes of Thomas Pieters and Joost Luiten stand out in a fairly weak line-up. 

Past Winners
2018: Alex Noren (-7)
2017: Tommy Fleetwood (-12)
2016: Thongchai Jaidee (-11)
2015: Bernd Wiesberger (-13)
2014: Graeme McDowell (-5)

Outright Betting (To Win)
Alex Noren (10/1)
Mike Lorenzo Vera (12/1)
Erik Van Rooyen (16/1)
Joost Luiten (18/1)
Thomas Pieters (18/1)


Value Bets

Julian Suri
To Win (45/1), To Place (19/2)

Young American Julian Suri endured a lengthy spell out earlier this year and has taken some time to rediscover his best form. But a decent tie for 18th last week in Italy will have buoyed the American. My major cause for optimism this week was his brilliant debut performance here last week. He played brilliantly at a course that usually rewards familiarity. He finished 2nd with rounds of 70-70-69-69. He could be a great bet in the place markets this week, particularly when you look at the quality of the field. 

Jamie Donaldson
To Win (80/1), To Place (17/1)

Jamie Donaldson just works for this course. His driving accuracy stats ranks amongst the highest in the field. Perhaps even more impressive is his performance around the green. He currently sits 1st in strokes gained around the green. So that combined with his accuracy should make him a viable candidate this week. He is in resurgent form, with top 10’s at both the Scottish Open and the Scandinavian Masters. He also has strong credentials, finishing 5th in 2013 and 6th in 2014. 

The Man to Beat

Thomas Pieters
To Win (18/1), To Place (39/10)

Thomas Pieters represents much better value to me than Alex Noren: Noren hasn’t registered a single top 10 finish this year. Pieters has relatively strong course credentials, with top 20 finishes in 2016 and 2017. He rediscovered winning ways earlier this year with a fairly unexpected victory at the D&D Czech Masters. He followed up that win with three consecutive top 20 finishes on the European Tour. He has slowed slightly of late, just making the top 40 of the BMW PGA Championship and finishing well down the field last week. I think that he could be primed for a strong week in a truncated line-up.   

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