Frenchman Grégory Bourdy is hoping memories of his compatriot Thomas Levet’s victory last year can inspire him to a home triumph of his own in this week’s Alstom Open de France.
Bourdy, whose best finish in his national Open was a share of sixth in 2010, watched on 12 months ago as Levet claimed a memorable win in front of packed galleries at Le Golf National in Paris, and the 30 year old admits he would love to follow in his footsteps on Sunday.
“This is always a great week, one of my favourites, and I enjoy this course and atmosphere so much,” said Bourdy. “It is great to play in front of the French crowd, and it is the only time we get to do it in the year.
“In Ireland last week it was amazing. It was like the crowd of an Open Championship and they supported everyone, not just the Irish players. Here will be very good too. We always want to do well in front of a French crowd and it makes the week more enjoyable for the French players.
“The crowds were massive last year when Thomas won and we have had great crowds for the past few years on the weekend. It is a golf course that is great for the crowds, especially the last four holes. They are amazing.
“I hope this year will be the same as last year. Thomas’ victory was so inspiring, but so were the two wins of Jean-François Remesy a few years ago. It would be great to have another French victory and I would love to win this tournament.
“After the Majors this is my favourite, and I would love to be able to do the same as Thomas and win it.”
Bourdy has taken confidence from his performance in last week’s Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club, where he led at the halfway stage following two fine rounds of 65 and 67. A third round of 80 in tough conditions in Northern Ireland meant he slipped back and the three-time European Tour winner eventually settled for a share of 33rd place, but those opening two rounds have given him belief that he could contend again this week.
“I’m trying to remember those first two days and I have a lot of confidence from them,” he said. “The first round in particular was one of my best rounds. The second one was not bad also. On a course like Portrush, to be 12 under par after two rounds was very good and hopefully that will help me in the future, and why not this week?”
In Le Golf National, Bourdy will face a very different challenge to Royal Portush, and he is a big fan of the course that will host The 2018 Ryder Cup, particularly the renowned closing four holes.
“The finishing holes are tough, sure, but they are a joy to play,” he said. “I think all the players know this is one of the best courses that we play on all year. It is in very good shape this year and the last four holes in particular are great for the players and the crowds. It’s tough, but exciting.”