The Ryder Cup is just a week away and due to that, the star-studded DP World Tour fields we’ve seen across the last three weeks are no more.
That doesn’t mean that this week’s field for the Cazoo Open De France is lacking big names however.
This week’s installment of the Cazoo Open De France serves as its 105th playing, making it the longest standing national open in Continental Europe. The event wasn’t played in the war years and was not played in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
France’s own Arnaud Massy won the first two editions of this event in both 1906 and 1907.
The Cazoo Open De France has been a part of the DP World Tour since its inception as well.
As previously mentioned, the star-studded fields we saw in the last three weeks are no more with the Ryder Cup taking place in Rome in just a week’s time.
This week’s Cazoo Open De France field will be headlined by PGA Tour stats Tom Kim and Billy Horschel.
Along with Kim and Horschel, last week’s BMW PGA Championship winner Ryan Fox will be teeing it up in an attempt to win back-to-back events.
Australia’s Min Woo Lee is another notable player in this week’s field.
Victor Perez comes into this week as the hometown favorite. Perez was one of the notable names left off of Luke Donald’s European Ryder Cup Team and will look to claim his nation’s open instead.
Guido Migliozzi comes into this week as the defending champion after he topped Rasmus Hojgaard in dramatic fashion a season ago.
Hojgaard set the DP World Tour record by leading this event by eight strokes after the second round last year. He was unable to hold on, including putting three balls into the water on Sunday on the par-three second hole.
The Le Golf National in Paris, France has been the host of the Cazoo Open De France since 1991, outside of 1999 and 2001
It plays as a Par 71 at 7,247 yards.
Le Golf National was opened in 1990 and quickly established itself as one of the greatest venues in the world of golf. The track is known for providing an extremely demanding test.
It was originally designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert Van Hagge. The course underwent some significant changes prior to the 2016 edition of the Cazoo Open de France in preparation for the hosting of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
The Le Golf National is a fairly exposed course that has a links-style feel to it.
The fairways are average in width and feature undulations.
The greens are bentgrass and are average in size as well. These bentgrass greens run at around 12 on the stimpmeter.
Water is in play on holes one, two, 13, 15, 16 and 18 as well.
Finding the fairways here at Le Golf National is more important than bombing the ball off the tee. The rough featured this week is slightly penal as well.
Off-the-tee metrics aren’t the most important here, as it is what golfers do after their tee shots that will make-or-break it at this venue.
Finding these average-sized greens in regulation is the key to victory at Le Golf National. If greens are to be missed, golfers who are above-average in scrambling will see a leg up.
Migliozzi’s -16 was the lowest winning score of any Cazoo Open De France since 2000. Typically, a winning score in the low teens or even high single-digits has been enough.
In all, the course demands patience.
As of the time of writing this, there is a near-certainty for rain. Thursday currently calls for a 100-percent chance of precipitation and Friday calls for an 80-percent chance. With the rain, will come some winds. Winds are set for ten miles-per-hour on Thursday and 13 miles-per-hour on Friday. Weather will calm for the weekend with just a 20-percent chance of precipitation on Saturday and a 10-percent on Sunday. Temperature will remain in the mid-60 degrees before spiking to 73-degrees on Sunday.
Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)
Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT) / Driving Accuracy
Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT)
Par 4 Average Scoring
Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SG: ATG)
Alexander Bjork (+2000)
With the Ryder Cup and PGA Tour guys off this week, I’m going back to the Bjork well. He’s currently first on the DP World Tour in SG: APP, scrambling and bogey avoidance. He’s also third in driving accuracy, fourth in par four average scoring, fifth in SG: PUTT, sixth in GIR% and 13th in SG: ATG. His downfall this week is a 114th placement in SG: OTT but with elite accuracy, I’m not that concerned. After a bad showing at the Horizon Irish Open he bounced back with a T18th at the BMW PGA Championship a week ago. Bjork also placed second at the Omega European Masters and T14th at the D+D Real Czech Masters in late August and early September. I’m playing two units on Bjork.
Yannik Paul (+3300)
I’ve been on Paul a lot as of late and he continues to offer some great value. He has made four straight cuts coming into this week, highlighted by a tenth at the D+D Real Czech Masters. Paul is currently second on Tour in SG: APP, eighth in scrambling, ninth in bogey avoidance, 11th in par four average scoring, 20th in scrambling, 44th in SG: ATG, 53rd in driving accuracy, 62nd in SG: OTT and 67th in SG: PUTT. I’m playing a unit on Paul.
Thorbjorn Olesen (+3500)
Here’s another statistical darling of the DP World Tour. Much like Bjork, Olesen continuously pops in my models each and every week. He’s currently seventh on Tour in SG: APP, 12th in bogey avoidance, 15th in scrambling, 16th in SG: PUTT, 17th in GIR%, 26th in par four average scoring, 42nd in SG: OTT, 51st in SG: ATG and 68th in driving accuracy. Olesen hasn’t been in great form heading into this week but he has made four consecutive cuts, highlighted by an 11th at the D+D Real Czech Masters. I’m playing a unit on Olesen.
Adrian Otaegui (+5500)
If we’re going off straight value we can’t ignore Otaegui. Like Olesen, Otaegui hasn’t been in the best of form heading into this week but has made six consecutive cuts. He placed T36th at last week’s BMW PGA Championship. His run of made cuts has been highlighted by a T4th at the ISPS Handa World Invitational back in mid-August. He is currently first on Tour in driving accuracy, second in scrambling, third in bogey avoidance, fourth in SG: APP, 12th in SG: ATG, 15th in par four average scoring, 32nd in GIR% and 82nd in SG: OTT. His downfall comes on the greens where he ranks 133rd on Tour. It doesn’t take a world class putter to win here but it does take a competent one so Otaegui will have to catch a hot flat stick this week. I’m playing one unit on him this week.
Nathan Kimsey (+7500)
Kimsey is my ‘long shot’ for the week. He is currently second on the DP World Tour in both driving accuracy and bogey avoidance. Kimsey is also fifth in GIR%, 13th in par four average scoring, 25th in scrambling, 26th in SG: PUTT, 52nd in SG: OTT and 83rd in both SG: APP and SG: ATG. Outside of a missed cut at the Horizon Irish Open, Kimsey has been in some decent form, making the cut in six-of-his-last-seven events. Kimsey also has missed the cut in just two tournaments on the entire season. I’m playing one unit on him this week.