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Wednesday, 03 July 2013
 The Ryder cup on the18th hole of Le Golf National  (Getty Images)
The Ryder cup on the18th hole of Le Golf National (Getty Images)

There might be more than five years to go until Le Golf National stages The Ryder Cup in 2018, but ahead of this week’s Alstom Open de France, many of Europe’s Ryder Cup stars have been extolling the virtues of the host venue and discussing the characteristics that will surely make it an unforgettable Ryder Cup layout…

Of the 12-man European team that triumphed so memorably at Medinah Country Club nine months ago, six are in Paris this week for the 2013 Open de France and Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald – with 13 Ryder Cup appearances between them – are all adamant that L’Albatros will provide a stunning setting when the biennial contest is staged here.

Also in the field this week at Le Golf National is the man who will follow José María Olazábal in captaining Europe at Gleneagles next year, Paul McGinley, who also agreed that the European Tour Destination was born to be a Ryder Cup venue…

WHAT THEY SAID

Ian Poulter
“I was one of the people who was very much for this course to have it. I think it’s a perfect stadium course with great viewing points all over the course for the spectators and they are going to be able to get a lot of people in through the door. It’s also obviously close to a great city and moreover it’s a good golf course so it’s got a lot going for it. We have a great, great finish here and you are going to have to step up and deliver down those last four holes. It’s going to create a lot of drama.”

Graeme McDowell
“I think it’s going to be a great Ryder Cup venue – especially the last four holes here in probably one of the best natural amphitheatres in world golf – and you can really imagine 40 or 50,000 people on the hills there. There’s plenty of space here for the big crowds and with the risk and reward dynamic of the closing holes here with water on 15, 16 and 18 especially will make it a great venue. You need a great finishing hole for a Ryder Cup and Le Golf National certainly has one.”

Martin Kaymer
“I said it two years ago that this is one of the best courses we have in Europe. I hope they do not change a thing about it for 2018 because they can only make it worse! The way it is now is very nice, with the fairways a bit faster than they used to be and I really think it will be the best Ryder Cup venue since 1997 in Valderrama. The condition of the course is brilliant and the setup of the holes – especially the last four – will make it very exciting. I hope a lot of matches will be decided on 15, 16 and 17 because it’s a great finish here. There’s a lot of drama and that’s what you want.”

Luke Donald
“It’s going to be fantastic. There are so many risk and reward holes and with that a lot of drama here. There’s a lot of water and it’s a tough course in general – I think you are going to see a fair few holes won with pars here. It’s also going to be a great viewing course for the crowds and with all that combined it short make a perfect Ryder Cup course.”

Paul McGinley
“I’ve been coming here since 1992 – having only missed one year in 2012 when I was injured – and the condition seems to get better every year. I think they have a really strong programme going into The Ryder Cup in 2018 and I think it’s going to be a great match play course. Paris will be a great host city, too, and at Gleneagles we are hoping to set the bar very high because we know the French capital coming after us is going to be very strong.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR18-9
2STERNE, RichardRSA18-5
T3DE LA RIVA, EduardoESP18-4
T3STORM, GraemeENG18-4
5DYSON, SimonENG18-3
T6DONALDSON, JamieWAL18-2
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