Find Me a 100 Winner: Elite French field means great value about these three outsiders

All three of this week's outsider selections are solid scramblers
All three of this week's outsider selections are solid scramblers

Paul Krishnamurty's weekly outsider column focuses exclusively on the Open de France - an event which he likens to a European major. Check out his trio of selections here...

"Morrison is available at insane odds given his course credentials. He was runner-up two years ago and seventh back in 2011."

While this column prefers to spread it's three weekly selections across both European and PGA Tour events, these respective opportunities really don't compare.

The Open de France is one of the most distinguished events on the European Tour. Established for decades and always played at the same, superb championship course. With all that past form at our disposal, it is always easy to pick out three outsiders.

In contrast whereas the Quickens Loans National is a perfectly good punting heat that has yielded massive shock winners in it's last two renewals, this year involves a lot of guesswork, given that the course has not hosted a PGA Tour event in the past decade. Therefore I'm swerving it in favour of an event that almost feels like a European major.

Few tournament line-ups in Europe have anything like this strength in depth. Moreover, the gruelling test at Le Golf National has been known to separate the wheat from the chaff in the way majors do. Firm and fast fairways and greens, plus penal rough, sounds very much like a traditional US Open. Water hazards add to the pressure and drama.

The historic stats add to this US Open feel. Usually in that major (forget the recent one, which was like a USPGA), good scrambling is absolutely paramount to success. As Steve Rawlings explains in his must-read preview, it is also the key stat to follow here, along of course the long game credentials required for any penal layout.

An emphasis on scrambling doesn't generally help outsiders, as skills on and around greens tend to be the biggest differentiation between the best and the rest. The top-two ranked players in that discipline, for example, are Alex Noren and Thomas Pieters. Nevertheless, I've found a trio at massive odds who are all at least perfectly competent in this regard. Two of them are recommended for a Top 20 Finish too.

Back Mikko Korhonen 1u each-way @ 110/1
Back Mikko Korhonen for a Top 20 Finish 2u @ 6.05/1

First, I must reiterate the case for my each-way selection. Mikko Korhonen - twice a runner-up in his last eight starts - has caught my eye several times in recent seasons and seems primed for a maiden win. He may seem relatively old for a maiden at 36, but the Finn only turned pro at 24 and seems to be a late developer.

Players with solid, reliable long games are always worth following - there is no better signal of imminent improvement and potential. Korhonen is not only consistent in that regard, but he also ranks 20th amongst this field for scrambling throughout 2017.

Back James Morrison 2u @ 220.0219/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 25.024/1

Morrison is only slighly inferior in the scrambling department, ranking 24th, and is available at insane odds given his course credentials. He was runner-up two years ago and seventh back in 2011.

Whilst he hasn't done anything special this year, eight top-30 finishes is a respectable return - suggesting his game is in decent enough order. I reckon he's bound to contend somewhere, so why not at these huge odds on a course to which he is clearly suited?

Back Alexander Bjork 2u @ 350.0349/1
Place order to lay 8u @ 50.049/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 15.014/1

Back Alexander Bjork 1u @ 7.06/1 for a Top 20 Finish

Finally these enormous odds, about the third best scrambler on this year's European Tour, are simply too big to ignore. I really doubt Bjork will win on his Le Golf National debut but, as demonstrated in both majors this term with Brendan Steele and William McGirt, we may not need him to even challenge on Sunday to make a profit.

In those cases, taking huge odds and then setting extremely unambitious cashout targets paid off. So too here, with the first lay target set at 50.049/1. Bjork is certainly no mug. He's registed six top-15 finishes this term - including elite events at Wentworth and Abu Dhabi - and won his last French start, albeit on the Challenge Tour.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

2017 Profit/Loss

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