Since the European Tour was founded in 1972, France has been one of its mainstay destinations and with The Ryder Cup set for only its second ever staging on the European continent at Le Golf National next year, the Senior Tour turns its eyes to the very same course for next week’s Paris Legends Championship.
The first edition of the Paris Legends Championship, won by Magnus P Atlevi, was played at the prestigious Parisian venue last year, and the 2017 Championship will take place exactly one year before The 2018 Ryder Cup tees off, from September 28-30.
As well as a number of Senior Tour members, a host of former Ryder Cup players have also claimed victory in the French capital.
The HNA Open de France – the oldest national open in continental Europe with a history which spans back to 1906 – became an official European Tour event for the first time in 1972, when it was played at La Nivelle & Biarritz GC, and was held at a further 12 venues before finding a home at Le Golf National.
Of those players in the Paris Legends Championship field, Spain’s Miguel Angel Martín was the first to win on L’Albatros course in 1992, finishing two strokes ahead of Martin Poxon and four ahead of Sir Nick Faldo and Costantino Rocca.
Rocca would not have to wait long before securing what would be his second European Tour title, as he won the following year, beating 2014 Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley in a play-off.
Paul Broadhurst, the current reigning John Jacobs Trophy champion, won his fourth European Tour title in 1995 with a score of 14 under par, eight strokes ahead of Neal Briggs.
In 2002, Malcolm Mackenzie ended a 20 year wait for his first European Tour trophy. The Englishman was tied with future Masters Tournament champion Trevor Immelman as he played the 72nd and final hole, but found the green from almost 200 yards with the best two iron of his life. He two-putted for birdie to win in what was his 509th event – the record number of appearances before a first victory.
The following year, Philip Golding, who visited Qualifying School 16 times throughout his career, birdied the last to secure his first European Tour victory. The Englishman, who has won twice on the Senior Tour this season, finished one stroke ahead of David Howell and two ahead of both Peter O’Malley and a young Justin Rose.
Rounding out the winners in next week's field is Jean-François Remesy, who won back-to-back Open de France crowns in 2004 and 2005. He romped to a seven-stroke victory in 2004, and then beat compatriot Jean van de Velde in a play-off the following year.
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