As highlighted in the preview, the 2019 Open de France winner, Nicolas Colsaerts, a pre-event 160.0159/1 chance, was the first big outsider to win the tournament in seven years but longshots had a very strong record prior to that and six of the eight winners before 2013 were matched at a triple-figure price before the off. I've picked out a couple to chance and first up is Germany's Max Kieffer...
Stats point to another strong performance in Paris
Max Kieffer must have been beginning to wonder whether he'd ever win on the DP World Tour.
The luckless German lost at the ninth extra hole at the 2013 Open de Espana (tying the record for the longest playoff on the DP World Tour) and he was beaten by John Catlin in extra time on the fifth extra hole at the Austrian Open last year before finally getting over the line at the Czech Masters a month ago.
That victory came out of the blue, although he had sat tied for fourth and just a stroke off the lead after the opening round at the Cazoo Open (formerly the Wales Open) the week before - before eventually finishing tied for 57th.
Since his win, he's finished 65th in the BMW PGA Championship and he missed the cut last week in Italy but there are several reasons to think he could bounce back here and contend again...
With water in play on nine holes and tough rough awaiting the wayward, accurate driving is a key to success around Le Golf National and excellent scrambling is nearly always key too.
Kieffer is one of the most precise drivers on the DP World Tour and having ranked fifth for Scrambling and first for Strokes Gained Around the Green in the Czech Republic, he ranked fifth for SGATG at Wentworth.
He looks a good fit statistically and he's already shown a liking for the venue. Although he's missed his last couple of cuts here, he was 16th in 2017, two years after finishing 10th, when he'd sat second and just one off the lead with a round to go.
Kieffer has the course form, the correct statistical profile, and the confidence that only a recent win can bring. The 130.0129/1 available looks fair.
Back 2u Max Kieffer @ 130.0129/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.35/4
Welsh form points to superb scrambler Sami
Finland's Sami Valimaki looked like being a real force to be reckoned with when he burst onto the scene with a win at the Oman Open back in March 2020 but he's yet to fulfil his very obvious potential.
Valimaki is still only 24 so it's not at all surprising that he's taken time to adjust to life on tour but this looks like a great opportunity for him to contend again.
As highlighted in the preview, the top scrambler for the week has finished in the places in 14 of the last 17 renewals here and the course that correlates best with Le golf National is Celtic Mannor.
Valimaki currently ranks 15th for scrambling on the DP World Tour and on his two visits to Celtic Manor he finished sixth and second.
He's missed his last two cuts but that doesn't unduly worry me given his best performance of the year to date, fourth in the BMW International open, where he topped the Scrambling stats for the week, came after a run of three missed cuts.
Back 2u Sami Valimaki @ 170.0169/1
Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.35/4
The two to come close to inclusion
I really like Matt Cooper's each-way pick, Connor Syme, who has touched 100.099/1 but he's been backed into 85.084/1 now so can't be included but he has excellent form figures at Celtic Manor, reading 3-8-18-2, and he followed his recent second place there with another runners-up berth behind my pre-event pick, Ewen Ferguson.
I can't include him in the column on account of price but if I had included a third triple-figure priced pick it would have been the in-form Norwegian, Kristian Krogh Johannessen, who has been a model of consistency since he won on the Challenge Tour in Italy in July.
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