Tuesday, 30 June 2009

• The Open de France ALSTOM is not only the oldest National Open Championship on Continental Europe, dating back to 1906, but also the richest, with a prize fund of €4,000,000.

• History was created in the 1986 Open de France when Seve Ballesteros became the first player to successfully defend a European Tour title and win both in a wire-to-wire fashion, in 1985 and 86.

• Defending champion Pablo Larrazabal had to qualify to play in the event in 2008 and  became the first qualifier to win the Open de France ALSTOM and just the seventh qualifier in the history of The European Tour to win an event. His wire-to-wire triumph was the first by a rookie in this fashion since Henrik Stenson at the 2001 Benson and Hedges International Open.

• Miguel Angel Jiménez will be celebrating his 500th European Tour event at the 2009 Open de France ALSTOM. He is the 19th player to achieve the feat and just the third Spanish player, following Santiago Luna and Miguel Angel Martin.

• The Open de France is used to high profile players winning the championship. No less than 18 Major Champions have their name etched on the roll of honour. The field assembled for the 2009 Championship includes no fewer than 101 players who have won on The European Tour.

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