The Open de France ALSTOM is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, with Frenchman Arnaud Massy claiming the first title in 1906, making it the oldest National Open Championship on Continental Europe. Here is the list of oldest Continental National Open Championships:
1906 – Open de France ALSTOM
1910 – Belgian Open
1911 – German Open
1912 – Andalucia Open de España Valle Romano
1912 – The KLM Open (used to be Dutch Open)
1923 – Omega European Masters (used to be Swiss Open)
1925 – Telecom Italia Open
In 2004 Jean-Francois Remesy won the Open de France ALSTOM by seven shots to become the first Frenchman to win his National Open Championship since Jean Garaialde in 1969. He retained his title in 2005, defeating Jean Van de Velde at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off, to become only the third Frenchman to successfully defend the title, joining Arnaud Massy (1906-97) and Marcel Dallemagne (1936-38).
Remesy will also attempt to join an exclusive club of golfers who have won the same event three years in succession. The players to achieve the feat are: Ian Woosnam (1990-92 Monte Carlo Open), Nick Faldo (1991-93 Irish Open), Colin Montgomerie (1998-00 PGA Championship), Tiger Woods (1999-01 WGC – NEC Invitational) and Ernie Els (2002-04 Heineken Classic).
The play-off between Remesy and Van de Velde in 2005 marked the first time in European Tour history that an all French play-off was contested.
The roll of honour in the Open de France ALSTOM reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of golf, with no fewer than 18 Major Champions having won the title.