ID 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 €3,150,000. The 2012 event is the 96th staging of the tournament.
• Should Thomas Levet win for a second consecutive season, he would become just the second Frenchman to successfully defend a European Tour title. Jean-François Remesy was the first at the 2004-2005 Alstom Open de France.
• 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 1986.
• The 2008 Champion, Pablo Larrazábal 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 2012 Championship includes no fewer than 102 players who have won on The European Tour.
• There are 12 former winners of the Alstom Open de France competing in 2012. They are: Paul Broadhurst (1995), Robert Allenby (1996), Retief Goosen (1997 and 1999), Colin Montgomerie (2000), José Maria Olazábal (2001), Philip Golding (2003), Jean François Remesy (2004 and 2005), Graeme Storm (2007), Pablo Larrazábal (2008), Martin Kaymer (2009), Miguel Angel Jiménez (2010) and Thomas Levet (2011).