Martin Kaymer ($10,900): Although Rory McIlroy is clearly the top player in the field this week, the price gap between him and Martin Kaymer is a big one. Normally, I would consider that justified, but considering the course and the recent form of Kaymer, I think you’re better off going with the German at this event. Kaymer has made 7 cuts in a row world wide and has also recorded three top tens in that span. He has absolutely owned Le Golf National (site of this week’s tournament) finishing inside the top 15 six times over his last 7 appearances, a span which includes a win back in 2009. Kaymer looks primed for another high finish, and while he’s not cheap, he’s plenty less expensive than Rory McIlroy who is coming off a poor U.S. Open.
Francesco Molinari ($10,400): Molinari is another player who looks extremely expensive on the surface this week, but when you consider his recent form and record at Le Golf National, it’s easy to see why. Tee to Green, Molinari has been brilliant in 2016, making eight of his last nine cuts and recording another top ten with a strong Sunday last week at the Congressional. Molinari has three finishes of 6th or better at this event since 2010 and has only missed one cut here since 2008. While Danny Willet looks like nice value at the same price, I’m advocating for Molinari this week as he’s been the more consistent player of late and looks to really be making a push for a victory.
Bernd Wiesberger ($9,900): Wiesberger is the defending champion at this event, so I don’t really need to sell you on the fact he can get it done at this course. I often avoid defending champions because of the added pressure defending a title brings on a player, but Wiesberger has also been grinding out a lot of higher finishes of late (two top-tens in his last two starts) and seems to be closing in on a victory himself. The tough nature of this course obviously suits his game, and at under $10k I think Wiesberger is great value this week as he could easily be priced up near the leaders given his recent history here. I’d target him in all formats and take the discount on him over some other big names.
Gregory Bourdy ($8,600): While I love the price on my guy Thorbjorn Olesen — he came through with a T2 for us last week — I think Bourdy is a touch better fit this week. The Frenchman has been in solid form all year and has tackled some extremely tough venues with class thus far, including a T18 at Oakmont (the site of the U.S. Open). Bourdy has made the cut at this venue each of the past three years and also has a 6th at this event from back in 2010. Given this is a home game for him, expect the Frenchman to be motivated this week and possibly even be in contention at some point. His game looked very locked in at points during the U.S. Open.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($8,200): This price was a bit shocking to me to be honest. While Cabrera-Bello might have some issues closing out tournaments, he has not had issues grinding out top twenties on the year (he has five in his last ten starts). The Spaniard’s record isn’t off the charts here, but he has made five of six cuts since 2010 and also finished 5th here last year as well. Regardless, Carbera-Bello’s fantastic ball striking is going to help him immensely on a course which can play very tough at times. He’s tackled a lot of tough fields and venues this year in general and produced very solid results. I expect another nice week from Bello here and would seriously recommend taking advantage of the price, he’s likely the best value on the board this week.
Pablo Larrazabal ($7,600): I like this price on Larrazabal, a player who has really been playing solidly the past couple of months. A multiple winner on Tour, Larrazabal actually won this event way back in 2008. Since then he’s not had much success at Le Golf National, but his solid recent form makes me think he can change those fortunes this week. He’s another solid ball striker who produced nice results at both Wentworth and Valderrama earlier this season, two of the more classical/tougher venues on Tour. I think Larrazabal can produce another nice week here at a classic European stop, so I’d look to him if you’re looking to save salary in larger tournaments.
Alex Noren ($7,300): I’m not sure I quite get this price drop on Noren this week, who missed the cut at the U.S. Open, but recorded a solid T12 his last time out in Europe. There’s no doubting that Noren is a quality player, he’s one multiple times on the Euro tour, and while he might not be burning up the scoresheet of late, he does have two top tens in his last 10 starts, including a 6th at the tough Valderrama. Noren hasn’t played at Le Golf National since 2012, but at $7,300, I think using him this week is a near no-brainer since you’ll be getting a very quality player with upside at a very depressed price.
Matteo Manassero ($7,000): One of my other nice plays from last week, Manassero has really not seen his price go up at all this week, even after recording a T13 at the BMW International, his second top 15 finish on the Euro Tour in a row. While Manassero doesn’t own any high finishes at the French Open, he has made 5 of 6 cuts at this event, with his lone cut coming from last season when he was truly in poor form. Now on the upswing, I think Matteo is a near must play as well for me this week at his current price, and I would look for him to put up another solid start. He’s been playing extremely consistently the past few weeks and could even be on the verge of something great soon.
Gary Stal ($6,400): Stal is a Frenchman who burst out of the gates at the U.S. Open with some quick birdies, but then faded to miss the cut. Stal has always been a streaky player, and there’s zero doubt he’s more of a GPP flyer this week than a player I’d want a ton of exposure to. Still, given the fact he’s playing in his home country this week and only a few weeks removed from a great performance in Austria, I think Stal is worth a shot. He’s posted two solid performances at Le Golf National in his last two appearances, and I like the potential upside for his price.
Eduardo De La Riva ($6,200): I was actually a little surprised to see the cheap price on De La Riva this week, but I am more than happy to take advantage. Having accumulated two finishes of 15th or better in his last two starts, you’d figure that he might be worthy of a larger price this week, especially since the Spaniard also has made three straight cuts at Le Golf National and recorded a third here back in 2013 as well. At $6,200 he has the best upside to me of any play under $6,500 this week and is someone I’d consider as an option in all formats.
Richard Green ($6,200): Green’s not exactly a player I expect to challenge this week, but he is someone who I believe has a better than average chance of making the cut and possibly landing inside the top 25 (great value for his price). Green’s now made three of his last four cuts on Tour and has taken well to this event and venue over the years, recording six finishes of 11th or better since 2004. The veteran knows how to grind out a made cut, and specifically knows how to grind out a decent finish on this course. At $6,200, I think he’s a solid play and a nice value to pair with more expensive players.