Spearheading a strong home challenge this week at Le Golf National is Thomas Levet who will have to wait until 13.30 on Thursday to get his title defence underway alongside England’s Justin Rose and Ian Poulter.
This marquee grouping, featuring the leader of the Race to Dubai alongside the defending champion, comes hot on the heels of some top local talent throughout the afternoon draw on day one of the Alstom Open de France, with the likes of home heroes Grégory Havret and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet going out amongst 2012 form horses Peter Hanson, Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, Francesco Molinari and Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal who won this title in 2001.
The morning also has plenty of big names to follow with as many as six groups including tournament winners from 2012.
Three-time champion Branden Grace plays alongside young gun Matteo Manassero and Gregory Bourdy, with the Frenchman looking to convert a strong opening two rounds in Ireland last week into tournament winning form from 7.50am Thursday morning.
Last week’s Irish Open Champion Jamie Donaldson is next up, joined by the strong Spanish pairing of Alvaro Quiros and 2010 Open de France winner Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
Volvo World Match Play champion Nicolas Colsaerts follows close behind with 1996 winner Robert Allenby and France’s highest world ranked player Victor Dubuisson for company, before another Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin heads out with Major Champions Graeme McDowell and Retief Goosen.
Martin Kaymer is next alongside Lee Westwood, the man he beat in a play-off en route to the title here in 2009, and promising young Frenchman Romain Wattel at 8.30am from the tenth, before in-form Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello looks to go one better than his tie for second at Royal Portrush last weekend with ISPS Handa Wales Open winner Thongchai Jaidee and six time European Tour champion Henrik Stenson one group later.
Plenty to whet the appetite before the action gets underway at 7.30am local time with Messrs McGrane, Del Moral and Dodt kicking things off on the first and Whiteford, Fisher and Green getting things underway on the back nine.
Whoever you want to follow though, make sure to find your favourite players and view the full draw here
before the action gets underway.