European Tour

Levy leads strong home contingent for French Open

Alexander Levy (Getty Images)
Alexander Levy (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Alexander Levy will lead a strong home contingent at this year's Open de France - the third Rolex Series event of the year - when he returns to Le Golf National for continental Europe's oldest national open from June 28-July 1.

France will be well represented with Levy joined by Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Grégory Bourdy, Romain Wattel, Grégory Havret, and Raphaël Jacquelin, who are all now confirmed to tee it up at the 2018 Ryder Cup venue, as they bid to become the first French player to hoist the trophy since Thomas Levet's superb one-shot victory seven years ago.

Levy, who currently sits at 46th in the Official World Golf Rankings, claimed his fifth European Tour title - and his third in three years - at the Trophée Hassan II just two weeks ago, overcoming Spaniard Alvaro Quiros to give his hopes of a home appearance in the Ryder Cup in September a significant boost.

"It's a really nice golf course and, for me, one of the best we play," said the 27-year-old. "I can't wait for the Open de France because it's one of the best tournaments of the year.

"Being at home provides extra pressure for us but it's nice to be in front of your fans. We know we have the Ryder Cup in September, so this year will be a little bit special."

Lorenzo-Vera, who finished tied third at least year's event, is hoping to compete in the upper echelons of the leaderboard once more at Le Golf National in June.

"I had a very good week at the Open de France last year and felt like the golf course really suited my game. It was my best finish at my home Open and I would love to go one better and actually win it.

"It would be a dream come true and I can't wait to get out on the course again this year."

Four-time European Tour winner Bourdy said: "The Open de France is a great tournament and, being a Frenchman, it means a lot to me. Playing at Le Golf National when the course will host the Ryder Cup later in the year is really exciting and I'm sure it will be a good event.

"The course offers a real challenge, it's a brilliant venue and I'm sure it will be in great condition."

Wattel, who secured his maiden European Tour title at last year's KLM Open, added: "It's always an event we look forward to and one that is special to all of us. The course is fantastic, the crowds are great, and I think it will be an amazing tournament leading into the Ryder Cup."

Havret, who defeated then world No 3 Phil Mickelson in a play-off for the 2007 Scottish Open, believes the tournament will give fans a taste of what to expect at The Ryder Cup in September.

"I'm looking forward to it even more than previous years. It's going to be very exciting as the Ryder Cup is coming soon. The Open de France will be the last tournament at Le Golf National before this huge event," Havret said.

"The Open de France has been getting bigger since last year and the new sponsorship via the Rolex Series has helped a lot. It's going to be very exciting for French crowds. I hope The Ryder Cup will be noisy, exciting and the French Open will be a good preview for that."

Jacquelin added: "This event is steeped in history and it's always an honour to play at the Open de France."

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