GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the Open de France from Le Golf National.
Open de France | 17th-20th October 2019 | Sky Sports
This week the European Tour heads to France, but don't expect the field to be as good as last year's Rolex Series event, or as good as the Ryder Cup either.
Le Golf National welcomes a weaker than usual field after being put back in the calendar and losing its prestige status, but then again, last week's field was hardly super-elite.
There are just six more events until the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and with only 50 players making the event, it's vitally important to grab a place.
The course is very much a links-type course, exposed to the elements and undulating. There's a premium on iron play, making greens or a sharp short-game, par-5s are more than reachable, accuracy off the tee and avoiding the big numbers.
Matthew Southgate 40/1 (Betfair)
Southgate always fits the bill for a links test as proved just a couple of weeks ago when he very nearly won the Alfred Dunhill Links, he missed the cut last week, but that could have been down it not being up his street or still feeling the effect of his near-miss.
He's one of the most accurate guys on Tour and has plenty of decent course experience here with a 5th place last year and an 11th three years ago.
Callum Shinkwin 50/1 (Betfair)
Another Englishman in hot form is Shinkwin as he has gone T10-5th in his last two outings. He also has a top-10 round here. Shinkwin too ranks inside the top-50 for Greens in Reg, which looks better considering how weak this field is.
He can often be a better bet for the First Round Leader so you can play that instead, but sooner or later he will close an event. His runner-up finish to RCB in the 2017 Scottish Open shows his like for links golf.
Ashley Chesters 80/1 (Betfair)
Chesters is an accurate-sort who is good with his irons. I've backed him plenty of times this year and I am sure he is going to get over the line sometime soon. He recently enjoyed a nice run of form including T9-T15-T21.
Some of his best career finishes have come on difficult tracks or ones that face the elements such as wind, which could correlate to success here. He finished 21st in his second-ever go at the course last year with a more star-studded lineup.
Kalle Samooja 125/1 (Betfair)
The Finnish 31-year-old makes the greatest appeal at longer odds, particularly with much of this field out of sorts. He is quite an inconsistent player, but has shown plenty of glimpses of his ability.
Samooja finished T20 at the Scottish Open after contending for the most part and lost recently in a playoff for the European Masters at Crans (Rory lost too, to be fair.) He has won on the Challenge Tour so there's some win pedigree there and has even won in this country by snatching the French Amateur a decade ago.
Maybe there are some reminiscent feels about returning.