The Rolex Series got off to a fittingly high quality start with the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth at the end of May. This week it’s time for the second Rolex Series event with the Open de France at Le Golf National in Paris.
There is just as much intrigue for this week’s event as there was at Wentworth. The Rolex Series and the big prize money it provides is always going to attract some of the world’s best players but the real reason the likes of Alex Noren, Francesco Molinari and – making his European Tour debut – Jon Rahm are in town. Le Golf National will host the Ryder Cup next summer and many of those towards the top of the betting harbour ambitions of helping Europe wrestle the famous cup back from the Americans.
It’s not going to take long for the players making their first appearance at Le Golf National to understand why so many people think the course will make a top drawer Ryder Cup venue. The 7,250 yard, par 71 layout is best described as tough but fair. Hitting it a long way is helpful at Le Golf National but not if you’re going to spray it all over the place off the tee. The winner will have to hit a high percentage of greens in regulation and hole their fair share of tricky putts but the key stat is scrambling.
Le Golf National is such a demanding test that players are going to miss plenty of greens. It’s those who manage to get up and down for par and keep the damaging bogeys and worse off their scorecards who will find themselves in contention come Sunday afternoon.
Favourite Rahm Still Looks Good Value
European golf fans have been looking forward to Jon Rahm’s debut on European soil for a long time. The Spaniard has been making waves for years as an amateur and he’s already picked up his first PGA Tour win. Rahm’s combination of power and touch around the greens doesn’t only suggest that he’s going to be right at the top of world golf for years to come but also that he is very well suited for the challenge of Le Golf National.
Rahm has shown that he’s not afraid of any challenge in golf and while there will be nerves on the first tee like normal, it’s hard to see him falling flat in Paris. Rahm may be the bookies’ favourite but the 14/1 that Sky Bet are offering looks plenty big enough for a player of his undoubted quality.
Relaxed Poulter Sure to Challenge at Le Golf National Once Again
Le Golf National is a very tough course but that hasn’t stopped players from becoming course specialists. Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari and Bernd Wiesberger have each gone well at the venue multiple times. But of all those with previous course form, Ian Poulter looks the best bet at 40/1 with Coral.
Poulter has played some very good golf since having his playing rights on the PGA Tour sorted out. He has built a very strong career on the back of his wonderful ball striking and provided he’s confident around the greens, he should utilise those skills for a crack at the top of the leaderboard.