ROBERT ALLENBY hasn’t had a great year on the US PGA Tour but will be hoping for inspiration when he hops across the Atlantic this week for the 2012 Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National outside of Paris.
Allenby won the French Open at this venue in 1996 and would dearly love to repeat the effort.
He will be joined by many of the Australian regulars on the European Tour including Marcus Fraser, Richard Green, Andrew Dodt, Scott Strange, Brett Rumford, Mark Brown and Daniel Gaunt.
The defending champion is Frenchman Thomas Levet who delighted the local crowds last year when he pulled off the biggest triumph of his golf career in winning his home country’s national championship.
Levet was so excited in winning his first title in a career spanning 20 years he jumped into the greenside lake at the 18th in celebration and promptly broke his leg.
”The celebrations last year were great and jumping in the water was good, but the broken leg was not so good,” he reflected this week. ”I came back to the course to celebrate with my friends with a cast on my leg. It was quite an experience. It took two months to recover, but that was fine. Far worse was the broken rib I suffered this year [When he fell down steps at a tee box at the Volvo Golf Championship.]
Levet should do well again, as long as he stays out of hospital till after the 72 hole.
Others in the field include Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Nicolas Colsaerts.
The event is being telecast live in Australia on Fox Sports beginning at 10.30pm Thursday.2012 French Open Leaderboard