DID YOU KNOW – ALSTOM OPEN DE FRANCE
• The Alstom Open de France is not only the oldest National Open Championship in Continental Europe, dating back to 1906, but also the richest, with a prize fund of €3,000,000. The 2015 event is the 99th staging of the tournament.
• Graeme McDowell made a successful defence of the title in 2014. He became the fifth player to win the Alstom Open de France in consecutive seasons. He followed: Peter Oosterhuis (1972-73), Seve Ballesteros (1985-86), Sir Nick Faldo (1988-89) and Jean-François Remesy (2004-05).
• The Alstom Open de France is second on the list for players winning the same European Tour event in consecutive seasons, happening on five previous occasions. The Irish Open is top of the list with six successful defences.
• Should Graeme McDowell win for a third straight season, the Northern Irishman would become the first player since Marcel Dallemagne (1936-38) to achieve the feat.
• Should Graeme McDowell win again he would join an elite list of players winning the same European Tour event for three consecutive years. The players are: Ian Woosnam (1990-92 Monte Carlo Open), Sir Nick Faldo (1991-93 Irish Open), Colin Montgomerie (1998-2000 PGA Championship), Tiger Woods (1999-01 and 2005-07 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational and 2005-07 WGC – CA Championship) and Ernie Els (2002-04 Heineken Classic).
• Graeme McDowell has won ten times on The European Tour. His first nine victories had all come in different countries. They were: Sweden, Italy, South Korea, Scotland, Wales, USA, Spain, Bulgaria and France. So France is now the only nation he has won twice in.
• 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 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 23rd 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 22 previous years is 274.
• In 2004 Jean-François Remesy won the Open de France by seven shots to become the first Frenchman to win his National Open Championship since Jean Garaialde in 1969.
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