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Very little to dissuade punters from Open De France favourite

| 01.07.2015

The biggest prize fund across the European Tour’s continental events attracts a stellar field to the outskirts of Paris for the Alstom Open de France, where Graeme McDowell has owned the course for the past two years.

There is something about the challenge offered by Le Golf National’s par 71 layout, venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup, which G-Mac clearly thrives on. The Northern Irishman is chasing a third consecutive win in the 99th edition of the tournament.

The last man to achieve the ‘three-peat’ was Marcel Dallemagne back in 1938 and odds of 25/1 with Ladbrokes say the 2010 US Open champ can reproduce the goods at his most rewarding track once again.

Why is he not favourite though? The reason is uncharacteristically poor form and even though McDowell hasn’t shot over par in a single round since 2009 at the Open de France, his seasonal figures are enough to swerve the would-be three-timer.

2015 has been a graveyard for top 10s – his only one arrived in February – while his last six events across both tours have seen two cuts missed and no better finish than 30th at the Irish Open.

Instead, there appears very little shame in offering up the actual market leader to come between McDowell and history, as Francesco Molinari, at 14/1, is stalking a win at present.

There is so much to endorse the Italian’s claims; on top of the fact Molinari has twice been the runner-up at Le Golf National.

Firstly, a hat-trick of top-five finishes in his last six starts presents a man in total control of his golf swing right now.

More significantly, though, at this imposing Stadium course where the rough is among the most unforgiving anywhere in Europe, his performance in key stats at the recent US Open puts him above the field.

At Chambers Bay, Molinari ranked second in driving accuracy (85.7%) and first in greens in regulation (81.9 %), a stat he’s also topped twice in the last five editions of this competition over the week.

At such a chunky price, and boasting tee-to-green stats in such rude health, Molinari has to be worth a flutter to add to his three European Tour wins outside the French capital.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.