Lee Westwood, World Number Three, heads back to France

Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)

World Number Three Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

World Number Three Lee Westwood returns to contest the Alstom Open de France next week in what appears to be one of the strongest fields in the history of this tournament.

Lee is seeking  back-to-back victories on European soil after capturing  his 22nd European Tour title in the Nordea Masters in Sweden at the start of the month, just before he achieved a top ten finish in the US Open Championship at Olympic Club. He has a strong record in the Alstom Open de France, with four top ten finishes in nine appearances. He really came close to winning this title at the Le Golf National in 2009, eventually losing in a play-off to Germany’s Martin Kaymer. Martin will  join Lee in the field next week, along with  four other players who currently occupy Ryder Cup spots, they are;

Race to Dubai leader Justin Rose, 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell, Swede Peter Hanson and Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño. Other players from the Worlds top fifty rankings are, Englishman Ian Poulter and Scotland’s Martin Laird, Graeme McDowell and European Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal, who was the 2001 champion in this tournament. There will also be an appearance from  Open Champion Darren Clarke, who is in a group of those players travelling from this week’s Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club.

The defending champion is Frenchman Thomas Levet, the former Ryder Cup player who delighted the home support last year when he finished one shot clear of Dane Thorbjørn Olesen and Englishman Mark Foster to lift the trophy. The victory for Thomas came in front of packed galleries, just six weeks after Le Golf National was awarded The 2018 Ryder Cup.

I am a great fan of Thomas Levet, he used to pay at my club in Berkshire, England when I lived there. His son went to the same school as my grandson, and a more pleasant fellow and Professional golfer you could not wish to meet.