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  • Writer's pictureAshley Wilkes

Open De France preview and betting card by Ashley Wilkes

Ewen Ferguson is fancied this week.

Open De France Golf Tips

Ewen Ferguson 50/1 - 1.25pt e/w 7 places – Betfair

Thorbjorn Olesen 50/1 - 1.25pt e/w 7 places – Betfair

Marcel Schneider 70/1 - 1pt e/w 8 places – Ladbrokes

Tom Lewis 90/1 - 0.5pt e/w 8 places – Bet 365

Kristian Krogh Johannessen 100/1 - 0.5pt e/w 7 places – Betfair

Daan Huizing 125/1 - 0.5pt e/w 8 places – Ladbrokes

Two weeks in a row with no return now as we once again filled the positions between 10th and 20th which shows we were on the right lines but crucially without anything to show for it. This week we turn to Le Golf National in France for the Cazoo Open De France. I have no idea what the Cazoo sponsorship budget is, but they certainly seem to have taken a liking to DP World Tour golf with this being their 3rd event in the last 2 months. Le Golf National is a course well known by European Tour fans but it’s not seen an European Tour event since 2019, with the last 2 renewals being cancelled due to the pandemic. Winners here have excelled with their irons the week they won, and avoided the really nasty rough. This week I’m targeting excellent approach players who can avoid being wild off the tee, there is no distance requirement looking at past winners here so it’s a fairly blank canvas to start with.

Once again I’m going to avoid the top of the market. Patrick Reed leads the way and while he is showing some form on the LIV tour as well as at the BMW PGA Championship a couple of weeks ago ultimately, I’m happy to pass him by at 14/1 and shorter. The only one I came close to pulling the trigger on was Victor Perez with this being his national open and coming off a brilliant performance last week but I felt 25/1 was the fair price and 20/1 doesn’t make any appeal unfortunately. So on to the first selection and that honour, this week goes to Ewen Ferguson. I’m happy to argue with anyone that Ferguson is the most disrespected golfer on tour by the market. 50/1 puts him on a par with Mikko Korhonen and Matthew Jordan, he is more likely to win this than both of them, and he’s a bigger price than Richard Mansell which is also baffling. The Scot has won twice this season in Qatar and Northern Ireland (one of only 3 players to win twice on tour this season) and ranks 12th on approach for the year, the key stat this week. He’s never played at Le Golf National before but I am not too fussed about that as it is a course which should suit him well. This could be win number 3 and the final chance we get to back him at 50/1 + in DP World Tour events.

Next up is Thorbjorn Olesen, Olesen is one of the more decorated players in this field with 6 DP World Tour wins including earlier this year at the Belfry. Olesen has finished inside the top 3 here twice before showing when he turns up in some form here he can play well. The Dane comes into this off the back of a decent 16th place finish last time out and has gained strokes on approach on his last 4 starts. He will need to try and avoid the wild one off the tee to contend here, but he’s done it before and he’s proven when he does get into contention, he can get the job done, a skill often lacking on this tour.

After moving away from MacIntyre one week too soon, I’m erring on the side of caution by sticking with Marcel Schneider this week. He doesn’t seem to have been cut in the market the same way others have in a much weaker field than last week. Rozner has gone from 60/1 to 28/1, Bjork 70/1 to 30/1 and yet Schneider who was 16th last week and 2nd in approach has only gone from 90/1 to 70/1. This maybe because he is a course debutant but I’m still very happy with this price, it was only a cold putter which let Schneider down last week and with that being the most variable of all the statistics I’m happy to chance him again.

The only person to beat Schneider in approach last week also makes the card, Tom Lewis. Lewis who many tipped for big things has really stalled the last few years losing his PGA Tour card and now fighting for his DP World Tour card. He needs some good results to finish the season to get into the Top 120 at year end, and he is responding with some good results. 3 top 20 finishes in his last 4 starts show he’s clearly trending in the right direction. The opportunity to play with Rory and Fitzpatrick last week proved too much of a distraction for him, but in lesser company this week he has the potential to get himself a great result. Like Olesen needs to prevent any wild misses off the tee this week but at 90/1 he’s certainly worth chancing.

To round off the card we have 2 selections at 100/1 or bigger. Firstly, we have Kristian Krogh Johannessen, a talented Norwegian player from the Challenge Tour. He’s currently 8th in the Challenge Tour rankings and hasn’t missed a cut since May at the Soudal Open. Since then, his worst finish is a tie for 32nd, has 5 top 10s and a win, in 12 appearances across both the Challenge and DP World Tours. He’s got impressive approach stats from those DP World Tour appearances and if he can keep progressing, he can make the 100/1 odds look very foolish. Finally, we have Daan Huizing who I think will love this track. A tidy player who’s not the longest will benefit from this course which hasn’t in the past rewarded distance instead, it's rewarded accurate approach play and that’s exactly what Huizing has produced all season. His odds are bigger than they should be because he plays at so many courses which don’t suit his game so he’s not short of Missed Cut’s but when a course does suit him he has taken advantage, T8 in Denmark a few weeks ago and a T3 at the Cazoo Classic in July show what can be done, I was expecting 80-90/1 so to get 125/1 I’m more than happy.

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