Our press officer at Le Golf National brings you all of the action from behind the scenes at the Alstom Open de France.
I’d do it all again
Thomas Levet created a splash in more than one way when he won the Alstom Open de France last year. The Frenchman, who was buoyed to victory by a partisan Parisian crowd, celebrated his win by jumping into the greenside lake by Le Golf National’s closing hole. Unfortunately, in doing so, he broke his leg, an injury which kept him out for two months. Remarkably, Levet has not ruled out repeating the act this year should he successfully defend the title. “I hope I go in again, it means I won the tournament.” Perhaps we might suggest just a nice soaking with champagne instead?
View from the top
There is a new man in charge of the Alstom Open de France and chances are you’ve heard of him before. Jean Van de Velde has taken on the role of Championship Director on the back of his central role in helping to secure The 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. Jean, who was famously runner up at the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie, certainly has plenty of experience, having made nearly 500 appearances on The European Tour. He is hoping to use his expertise over the coming years in the build-up to The Ryder Cup. Jean this week has also been announced as UNICEF’s French Committee Ambassador. Quite a busy man!
A daunting finish
Le Golf National is a European Tour Destination and renowned as one of Europe’s top courses. It’s finishing stretch is quite the test, especially the 18th hole which has water running down the left, followed by an daunting approach shot over water to the green. As Thomas LEvet’s victory showed last year, there will be some atmosphere on the banks of the 18th hole when the Ryder Cup visits Le Golf National in six years’ time. Graeme McDowell, who secured the winning point at the last Ryder Cup, is one player who will be hoping to be part of the European Team in 2018. He was asked if he would once again fancy anchoring the European Team in the singles, playing Le Golf National’s 18th.
He answered: “Would I fancy it? Bring it on. Bring it on…..(gulping) yeah, right. Of course, you know, I would love another chance to do it.”
Just a quick reminder, given that we are in Paris, that you can also visit our French language site, fr.europeantour.com, which launched last year. We are also available in German and Spanish.