DID YOU KNOW – ALSTOM OPEN DE FRANCE
· The Alstom Open de France is not only the oldest National Open Championship on Continental Europe, dating back to 1906, but also the richest, with a prize fund of €3,000,000. The 2011 event is the 95th staging of the tournament.
· Miguel Angel Jiménez became the oldest winner of the event in 2010, aged 46 years and 180 days. Should he make a successful defence of his title, he would become the fifth oldest winner in European Tour history, at 47 years and 179 days.
· 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.
· The 2008 Champion, Pablo Larrazabal had to qualify to play in the event and became the first qualifier to win the Alstom Open de France and just the then 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.
· The Alstom Open de France is used to high profile players winning the Championship. No less than 19 Major Champions have their name etched on the roll of honour. The field assembled for the 2011 Championship includes no fewer than 92 players who have won on The European Tour.
· American Bubba Watson is making his debut in a regular European Tour event. His best finish in a European Tour event was second in the 2010 US PGA Championship, losing in a play-off to Martin Kaymer.