Cazoo Open De France

Last week we had the pleasure of watching some of next year's Ryder Cup stars play the 2023 venue, and what a venue it is. It is striking just how good the final few holes are for Match Play golf and it will no doubt provide some special finishes. We move on to a previous Ryder venue now in Le Golf National and this course probably doesn't get the field it deserves any more due to the lower purse and no Rolex badge.

Nevertheless it remains one of Europe's finest. Rough last week was up in Italy and it should be similar again in France and it is probably an advantage to have had a skip round Marco Simone before heading to Paris. Fine approach play and good scrambling will be necessary to contend here over the course of the week. 

Patrick Reed to Win 

Patrick Reed now sits on the precarious position of 50th in the world and takes his chance in France to improve upon that despite much less points on offer than what we see Stateside. This for now remains his only avenue to world ranking points though and it'd be no surprise to me should he grasp it with both hands. Reed has always been a supporter of the DPWT and often performs well under these conditions.

Pieters and Fox may be above him the world rankings now but Reed remains the much better golfer. 5th at Wentworth followed by 5th in the LIV event in Chicago is fine form compared to the rest of this field. Add in a couple of other top fives in the other LIV events and we have someone operating at a much better level to anyone around him in the betting.

Thus far the LIV guys have tasted little success when coming back to the DPWT or other tours for that matter but I think the 16/1 on offer for Patrick Reed is worth risking to buck that trend. His final round 63 in Surrey was spectacular and he is simply capable of beating this field not anywhere near his best. On paper this test should suit with an emphasis on short game throughout and I thought he would be strong jolly in the market around the 11/1 mark.

3pts WIN P.Reed  16/1 (1/5 5)

Patrick Reed to win - 3pts @ 16/1

Oliver Bekker at 60/1 (Seven Places)

Oliver Bekker showed signs at Wentworth with his long game that a return to form was imminent and his top 10 in Italy solidified that thinking. From tee to green last week he was 7th with MacIntyre, McIlroy and Fitzpatrick being three of those who just squeaked past him. Only a better display with the putter would have gotten him into the mix at the weekend but four under par rounds to go with his three under par rounds at Wentworth is a sure sign the South African's game is back in fine shape.

This will be his debut around Le Golf National but it should suit and with a solid game around the greens I'd expect him to go well once again. Confidence will be brimming after recent efforts and he was unlucky not to get off the mark on a couple of occasions earlier in the year.  This season he has produced the best golf of his career and he showed in LIV London he could mix it among some of the elite also finishing 6th there.

1pt each-way O.Bekker  60/1  (1/5 7)

Oliver Bekker to win - 1pt e/w @ 60/1

Marcel Schneider at 80/1 (Eight Places)

I see no reason to desert Marcel Schneider after last week's effort in Italy. The German continued a fine run on tour this year with another top 20 in Rome despite a poor effort on the greens. His putting is often the best part of his game and had it been up to standard last week we could have seen a totally different result.

Schneider was 2nd on approach and 8th tee to green last week but in the final few for the week on the greens. He is a decent all rounder but can consider himself unfortunate not to have a better week whenever his long game performed very well. More of the same this week and we'll see him up there again and this course being not so demanding length wise compared to Italy should help. Having backed at 100/1 last week and with 80s available here it seems a no brainer to go in once again in a weaker field.

1pt each-way M.Schneider  80/1  (1/5 8)

Marcel Schneider to win - 1pt e/w @ 80/1

Matthieu Pavon at 100/1 (Eight Places)

The French have a lively bunch who could contend this week not least Antoine Rozner whose long game has been eye catching to say the least. The bookmakers are well alive to his chances though and I much prefer Matthieu Pavon at the prices. Pavon has a wonderful swing and it's slightly surprising how he hasn't managed a win on tour to date. We know they are difficult to come by though and I'm sure there will be a purple patch in his career where he manages the feat.

This may just be the time and having finished 9th at Wentworth last time out I'm quite surprised to see triple figure prices in a much weaker contest. He has a modest record here to say the least with last year being the first time he had made the cut in four appearances. He looked to be swinging so well at Wentworth though and an outing in his home country may be perfect timing for him to capitalise.

His final round of 65 at Wentworth was only beaten by Rahm and Reed so I expect him to land here with the belief he can produce something similar. With all those guys missing here bar Reed this is a big chance for Pavon to make his mark.

1pt each-way M.Pavon  100/1  (1/5 8)

Matthieu Pavon to win - 1pt e/w @ 100/1

David Horsey at 140/1 (Eight Places)

After opening with a 72 at Wentworth there weren't many better than David Horsey who went 66-67 over the weekend to finish inside the top 20. This was a welcome return to form for the Englishman who may be recently inspired by the win of Oli Wilson in Denmark. Driving distance hasn't overly mattered here down the years so this brings Horsey into the equation. After a string of missed cuts he finally looked to have gotten the hang of this track with two top 35 finishes in 2018 and 2019.

His effort at Wentworth was comfortably his best all year and in a much weaker contest must be considered at 150/1. It has been a while since he has contended an event at the death and that could of course prove his undoing should he be in the mix, but I'm prepared to take the chance on recent evidence. 

0.75pt each-way D.Horsey  140/1  (1/5 8)

David Horsey - 0.75pts e/w @ 140/1