On the Albatros du Golf National perhaps even more than on any other course in Europe, the days follow one another but are not always alike. Relation to bad tricks. They are still many to be able to confirm this Saturday evening at the clubhouse of the course located in Saint-Quentin en Yvelines. And many, who came to scout less than a year before the Olympic Games, will not fail to slip it to their colleagues on their way home...
- The world ranking of the best golf players
Perdreau of the year
Take Jordan Smith, author of two splendid cards (66-64) before the "moving day" of the Cazoo Open of France, this Saturday. The Englishman (30 years old) is not a loser of the year. He has two victories on the European Tour (including the first won at the Porsche Open in 2017, in a playoff against Alex Levy). However, under the bright sun of Île-de-France and facing the increasingly complicated flags of the Albatross, the child of Bath was trapped on holes 7 (double bogey), 12 and 18 (bogeys) of the course. Three drawings that each reserve their share of surprises when the wind blows nicely. So he signed a 70 under the par all very correct thanks to his five birdies... without having seen it coming.
Jordan Smith (-13 overall) now shares the leader's chair with Scotland's Ewen Ferguson (27), author of a convincing 67. Like Smith, the Glasgow-born player has two victories on the DP World Tour acquired in 2022 (Qatar Masters, Handa World Invitational). It will be necessary to count with him this Sunday for the final victory, if indeed the 140th player in the world manages to maintain the course (66-67-67) in the last round...
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Behind the two Britons, the hunt will be opened Sunday morning. Japan's Kazuki Higa (-12) and Germany's Yannick Paul (-11), who we remember finished in 8th place (with a total of -8) here last year, are the best placed. However, they will have to be wary of Japan's Ryo Hisatsune (-9) but also South Africa's Zander Lombard, England's Richard Mansell and the gifted twin Rasmus Højgaard, all at -8.
In 2022, the Dane ranked 2nd (with the score of -15), beaten on hole 18 by a fantastic 5 iron shot from Guido Migliozzi, author of a final birdie synonymous with victory. If the Italian holds the course record (62) set during his last lap in 2022, it should be remembered that Rasmus Højgaard was the previous co-holder (63). Suffice to say that we will have to reckon with him also this Sunday...
"It's up to me to start the machine on Sunday and do the job."
In the same rank as the, Julien Brun did not manage to take full advantage of this Saturday to get closer to the top of the ranking. The Frenchman (-8) is however in ambush, too. with five strokes behind the co-leaders. "Yes, victory is playable," he explained after signing his card of the day in '70. It's up to me to start the machine on Sunday and do the job. I will be able to rely on the benchmarks that allowed me today to play under par on an average day. That is encouraging.»
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In 12th place in the ranking, his compatriot Adrien Saddier (-6) also seems capable of titillating the best at the end of a rise from the back. With his striking power and well-oiled swing, the Haut-Savoyard is still chasing a first success on the European Tour despite his talent. It needs a stroke of brilliance. "I want to provoke things, to get the flags with the "cojones", to hit good shots at the right time!" explained Alex Levy in the late afternoon, frustrated by his 73, which places him in 55th position. Will Saddier have heard it?