Preview: Alstom Open de France

The European Tour will return this week with the Alstom Open de France in Paris and the Irish contingent are set to try and leave their mark on the tournament.

Peter Lawrie will look to follow up his good form from last week in the BMW International Open in Munich which saw him tied for 18th alongside world no. 4 Martin Kaymer.

Lawrie’s consistency let him down on the third day when a score of one-over par scuppered any chance of a title-challenging position; the top spot eventually went to Spaniard Pablo Larazabal after a five hole play-off against compatriot Sergio Garcia.

Peter Lawrie tees off alongside Welshman Stephen Dodd and England’s Richard Bland, while Darren Clarke will be playing with Francesco Molinari and Peter Hanson.

Damien McGrane and Shane Lowry will be hopeful of putting their weekend in Munich behind them with a good display in France after both men missed the cut in the second round of last week’s play.

Lowry never recovered from a first day score of four-over par and was not able to make amends on Friday as McGrane’s weekend never got going after a flat score of 72 wasn’t enough to save him from the cut.

Of the rest, Miguel Angel Jiménez will look for a repeat of last year’s win which saw him become the oldest winner of the competition while The European tour will welcome a new face this weekend when Bubba Watson takes part in his first regular European tour event.

Martin Kaymer, who jointly holds the course record at 9 under par will be hoping to regain his standings in the World’s top three. The German dropped a place in the rankings due to his failure to finish in the top eight in Munich, a result that saw Rory McIlroy move up a place.

However a top eight finish in France would be enough for him to regain his place in the rankings at the expense of the Northern Irishman.

The French open is the oldest event on the tour and with a prize fund €3 million euro is also the richest. This year event is the 95th staging of the tournament and with 94 European tour winner’s on view the 500,000 winner’s cheque looks to be very close to call.

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