The DP World Tour returns to Le Golf National for the Cazoo Open de France. Here are your five things to know
The Open de France is continental Europe’s oldest national Open and has formed part of the DP World Tour’s schedule since its inception in 1972. First played in 1906, the event returned to the schedule last year after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and will once again celebrate it's long-standing presence this week.
Arnaud Massy won the inaugural edition of France’s national open on home soil in 1906 before successfully defending his title in 1907, the same year he made history by becoming the first non-British player to win The Open Championship.
Since then, there have been six further Frenchmen who have won their national open, with six-time DP World Tour champion Thomas Levet the most recent in 2011. Frenchman Marcel Dallemagne remains the only player to have won this trophy three years in a row after victories at Saint-Germain in 1936, Chantilly in 1937 and Fourqueux in 1938. Countryman Jean-François Remésy is one of only two players to have won the event on multiple occasions since it moved to the outskirts of Paris and Le Golf National’s Albatros course in 1991.
In addition to French success, the tournament boasts a lengthy list of impressive champions and European legends, including Major champions Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal, Sir Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer. More recent figures include Ryder Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood and Alex Noren, who won the tournament in 2017 and 2018 respectively before going on to play a big part in Team Europe's victory over the USA at the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.
Guido Migliozzi returns to Le Golf National to defend the title he brilliantly claimed with a course record-equalling 62 last year to win his third DP World Tour title.
The Italian, who had not won for three years, began the day five shots off the lead but capped off a superb final round with a brilliant birdie at the last to surge through the chasing pack and win the Cazoo Open de France.
After five successive pars, Migliozzi's round had been ignited with the first of nine birdies in 13 holes but he saved the best until last – one of the toughest finishing holes in golf - with an astounding faded approach from 192 yards. His ball cleared the lake guarding the front of the green by only 15 feet but then tracked towards the hole and almost went in before finishing six feet past the pin. He rolled it in for the first birdie of the day at the 72nd hole to set the clubhouse target, which was enough to eventually beat Denmark's Rasmus Højgaard by one shot.
Migliozzi returns with some recent good form to his name, having tied 13th at the Omega European Masters and tied 16th at the Horizon Irish Open two weeks ago. Although he heads to France following a missed cut at Wentworth, the 26-year-old will be hoping a couple of days rest will have him ready to produce another strong performance at the Paris course.
Farewell's and milestones
French legend Raphael Jacquelin will say goodbye to the Open de France this week as he prepares to play in his last edition of the tournament, 26 years after playing his home open for the first time in 1997.
The four-time DP World Tour winner, who has over 600 career starts to his name, has a best of third in this particular tournament, which he recorded at Le Golf National in 2013.
And while one man says goodbye to the French Open, another earns his own slice of history as he tees up in his 500th event.
Two-time DP World Tour winner Graeme Storm, who can now be seen more regularly frequenting the DP World Tour fairways as a referee than as a player, will make his milestone appearance this week. It's a fitting place for Storm, and comes 16 years after he came from five strokes behind at the same venue to earn his first Tour title at the 2007 Open de France.
Le Golf National will have the honour of hosting the Olympics in 2024, representing the third consecutive time golf will appear on the Olympic schedule since making its return in 2016.
This week's tournament represents the chance for many to gain experience around the former 2018 Ryder Cup venue, which will stage the 120 athletes (60 male and 60 female) competing in the golf competition in the Paris Games.
There is less than a year to go for players to qualify through the official Olympic Golf Ranking (OGR), which will be finalised on the 17th June 2024 for men and 24th June 2024 for women.
The top 15 athletes on the OGR will be selected by name and secure their Olympic quota places, with a maximum of four athletes per National Olympic Committee (NOC).
Following that, athletes ranked from 16th place onwards on the OGR will be selected by name and allocated their quota places, with up to a maximum of two athletes per NOC, including those athletes within the top 15, until the number of 59 athletes is reached, including continental places.
Several players currently in the qualification spots will feature in the field this week: BMW PGA Championship winner Ryan Fox is joined by Min Woo Lee, Victor Perez, Tom Kim, Alexander Björk, Thomas Detry, Thriston Lawrence, Yannik Paul, Thorbjørn Olesen, Daniel Hillier, Fabrizio Zanotti, Kristian Krogh Johannessen and defending champion Migliozzi.
A strong array of environmental initiatives will play a big part in this year's Cazoo Open de France.
Le Golf National is a GEO certified venue, highlighting its commitment to sustainable business management. A prime example of that is that there will only be recycled water used for the course.
In addition to that, food at the venue will be locally sourced for the event. Any surplus food will go to local charities, with a re-use and recycle policy that will help promote our zero waste to landfill strategy.