Alstom Open de France & The French Ryder Cup Bid
No matter how old you are, repeatedly being told you're the oldest... anything... has got to get old pretty quickly.
By the time Miguel Angel Jimenez lifted the ornate silver trophy yesterday at Golf National, I'd guess he was already quite sick of hearing how he was the tournament's oldest winner. As you've probably heard, he won the Alstom Open de France... and as soon as he did everyone was talking about how at 46, he was the oldest ever to win this tournament. Not only that, he was the also the eighth oldest champion in European Tour history.
The colorful Spaniard isn't the type to take things to heart however, and quickly positioned his age as an asset... both for winning the French Open and for securing a place on Colin Montgomerie's Ryder Cup team. “Experience is always important,” said Jimenez post-playoff. “These two guys are playing very well. But, you know, the experience, also, is one of the keys. On 18, I hit my ball in the middle of the fairway and both of them missed the fairway. The win moved The Mechanic, who's had ten European Tour wins since he turned 40, into sixth place in the European Ryder Cup rankings.
Like MAJ, the Open de France ALSTOM has been around for a while. In fact, it's the oldest national open championship in continental Europe, dating back to 1906. In France's bid for the 2018 Ryder Cup, the country's golf history will be highlighted, along with the attributes of Le Golf National as a Ryder Cup venue. I attended the Open de France three years ago and was impressed with how quick and easy it was to get to the course from the center of Paris. I just hopped on a commuter train, and within 20 minutes I was in Versailles, from there it's just a 10 minute shuttle to Golf National. The course... as we saw yesterday... lends itself to the kind of dramatic finish that makes Ryder Cup competitions memorable.
The French will face stiff competition from Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. French golfer Thomas Levet, who played in the 2004 Ryder Cup and has five European Tour wins, was one of was one of those who worked on France's Ryder Cup bid and he feels it's very strong. He even indicated that the Chateau de Versailles might be the setting for some of the official functions. How romantic is that?
The winning bid will be announced next Spring, in the meantime, Follow the French bid on Facebook.
Photo: Getty Images by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Europe