DID 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 €3,000,000. The 2014 event is the 98th staging of the tournament.
• Should Graeme McDowell win for a second consecutive year, he would join Darren Clarke (1999-2000 English Open) as the only players from Northern Ireland to successfully defend a European Tour title.
• All of Graeme McDowell’s nine European Tour victories have come in different countries. They are: Sweden, Italy, South Korea, Scotland, Wales, USA, Spain, Bulgaria and 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 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 20 Major Champions have their name etched on the roll of honour.
• The Albatros course at le Golf National will be the host venue for the Alstom Open de France for the 222nd time. It was first used in 1991 when Eduardo Romero win the title. The venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup has always provided a stern test of golf. The lowest winning total is 269 by Pablo Larrazábal in 2008. The average winning score from the 21 previous years is 274.
• David Howell will be playing in his 500th European Tour official event and becomes the 27th player to achieve the feat and the ninth Englishman to reach the milestone.