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Friday, 18 April 2014
Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell shake hands at the end of a great match  (Getty Images)
Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell shake hands at the end of a great match (Getty Images)

Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell will headline the field at the Alstom Open de France, the 98th edition of which will take place at Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines from 3-6 July.

The Frenchman, currently ranked 23rd in the world, and the defending champion and World Number 14 from Northern Ireland are the first two stars to commit to continental Europe's oldest national open.

Dubuisson burst onto world stage last November by winning the Turkish Airlines Open, a victory which elevated his status from France's next golfing great to one of Europe's exciting new stars.

At the start of the 2014 season, the man from Cannes launched his assault on the United States by reaching the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February, which he eventually lost to Australian Jason Day after five sudden-death play-off holes.

This accomplishment helped Dubuisson, who will turn 24 on 22 April, to cement his place inside the world's top 50 (he his ranked 23rd as of 13 April). The “French Musketeer” will lead the local challenge at the 98th staging of the Alstom Open de France, which will mark his sixth appearance in his national open.

Tied for 18th last year, his best result in the event, Dubuisson wrote a page of history in the 2005 edition of the tournament, when he become at 15 years of age the youngest-ever golfer at that time to compete in a European Tour event.

Dubuisson will reunite with defending champion Graeme McDowell at Le Golf National. Last year, the Northern Irishman finally managed, on his eight attempt, to lift the Edward George Stoïber cup courtesy of a perfect week concluded four strokes ahead of South African Richard Sterne.

McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, boasts an impressive résumé which includes eight additional European Tour titles, one PGA Tour win and one Asian Tour trophy. The 34 year old, beaten by Dubuisson in the WGC-Accenture quarterfinals last February, is likely to join the Frenchman in the European team which will aim to defend the Ryder Cup next September at Gleneagles, Scotland.

But before the biennial clash between Europe and the United States, a competition McDowell has won in 2010 and 2012, the two European stars will battle on the Albatros course, much for the delight of the French golf fans.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR18-5
T2STADLER, KevinUSA18-4
T2JAIDEE, ThongchaiTHA18-4
4KARLSSON, RobertSWE18-3
T5DONALDSON, JamieWAL18-2
T5BALDWIN, MatthewENG18-2

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