Open Champion Ben Curtis returns to Europe for the first time since his unexpected victory at Royal St George’s in July when he competes in the Trophée Lancôme at Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche in the glamorous city of Paris.
A high class field has assembled in France for the 34th edition of the tournament which was won by England’s Tony Jacklin in 1970 and has produced many illustrious champions down the years of the calibre of Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, José Maria Olazábal, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Ian Woosnam.
The quality of the surroundings has always ensured that the Trophée Lancôme is one of the most eagerly anticipated tournaments on the schedule and among this year’s entrants are the winners between 1998 and 2000 – namely Miguel Angel Jiménez, Pierre Fulke and Retief Goosen.
Meanwhile Curtis, who emerged from virtual obscurity to win the Open Championship, tees up at Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche in the company of another Open Champion in Paul Lawrie, who won the biggest title of his career at Carnoustie in 1999.
Lee Westwood, fresh from his inspiring victory in the BMW International Open in Munich after three years without a title, returns to Paris with renewed confidence after playing the last nine holes in 30 to wrest the crown from Germany’s Alex Cejka, who won the Trophée Lancôme 12 months ago.
Adding to the international flavour of the field is the return to action of Ireland’s Padraig Harrington following the birth of his son, Patrick, after the World Golf Championships – NEC Invitational in the United States.
Also back in Europe after a fine third place in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston is Justin Rose of England along with a dozen winners from The 2003 European Tour International Schedule.