Here at europeantour.com we have lined up another fantastic five for your Fantasy Race teams
as we journey from Portrush to Paris for the Alstom Open de France
at Le Golf National.
Last year, home hero Thomas Levet took the title and the first man we see as leading the charge to replace him as champion is Martin Kaymer, who won the Open de France in 2009. In just five starts in the French capital he has already registered four top seven finishes, with the highlight obviously coming three years ago when the then 24 -year old German overcame Lee Westwood in a tense play-off at Le Golf National’s dreaded 18th hole. So far in 2012 his form has been solid if not up to his usual high standards, registering eight top 20 finishes from 11 starts, but he is yet to really challenge for a title. He proved at the WGC-HSBC Champions last November that he still has that winning touch, and he will look to build on that with another strong performance in Paris this week.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello is the next on our list, and while he has a very poor record at this event – having never finished better than 69th some two years ago - he leaves Portrush having signed off with a fine 66 on Sunday to finish in a tie for second place and will therefore be full of confidence when he tees it up on Thursday. He has four top three finishes already in 2012, including a so far career best triumph at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic earlier this year, and he will therefore be keen to impress again in Paris. Also, as we count down to the Ryder Cup in September he will be aware that he is within touching distance of qualification for his compatriot José María Olazábal’s team, which should therefore provide even more impetus for this impressive Spaniard in the week ahead.
Another form horse looking to build on a big win earlier this season is Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen, who having triumphed at the Sicilian Open back in April, shapes up as another potential candidate for victory this week. He has only ever played in this event once, but few could argue with his record, having pushed Thomas Levet all the way to the final green en route to second place last year. Including his win he already has seven top 25s in 2012 and with his current form, and evident comfort on this layout, he is definitely another favourite for this title.
Søren Kjeldsen is another Dane who has the kind of game to really suit the Le Golf National layout, with accuracy the name of the game, and the three time European Tour winner is capable of doing just that. He has also finished in the top 20 here on six occasions with a best finish of seventh in 2008. His form has gone off a little of late, having started the season exceptionally well, but his second place finish at the Reale Seguros Open de España, as well as a third in Sicily and a fifth in Dubai, are proof that Kjeldsen really has the game to challenge.
And finally, we couldn’t ignore the home faithful, so our pick for top Frenchman is the swashbuckling Victor Dubuisson. He is still finding his feet on The European Tour after a breakthrough season in 2011 that saw him keep his card for the first time, and so far in 2012 he is building on that with some fine form, which currently sees him 38th on the Race to Dubai. His best performances have come recently with a strong showing at the Volvo China Open where he finished fourth, backed up by a third in Korea at the Ballantine’s Championship. He also currently tops the Greens in Regulation category of the Genworth Statistics, and on a course that requires a premium on pin point play, this could stand this particular Frenchman in good stead this week.
There are our fancied five at Le Golf National, so make sure to log in to My European Tour
to update your Fantasy Race to Dubai team before the deadline on Wednesday