Paris, July 1 (IANS)
Leading Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri will look to bounce back from a disappointing US Open when he tees off in the 99th Open de France starting at the par-71 Le Golf National here on Thursday.
Current Asian Tour leader Lahiri, 28, scored a two-day total of seven-over 147 to miss exiting the competition after the halfway stage at his fifth Major appearance. And now the World No. 47 will look to get his focus and confidence back before the third Major of the year – The Open Championship – to be held between July 16-19.
Two more Indians – World No. 930 Jeev Milkha Singh and World No. 357 Shiv Kapur – will also compete in the 99th edition of continental Europe's oldest national Open.
Bengaluru-based Lahiri, who is at 15th spot in the European Tour order of Merit riding mostly on his title winning performances at the Malaysia Open and Indian Open, will start alongside Italy's World No. 43 Francesco Molinari and World No. 100 Gary Stal of France at 1.20 pm local time.
Jeev, 43, four-time winner on the European Tour, will tee off with Sweden's World No.582 Niclas Fasth and Belgium's World No.189 Nicolas Colsaerts at 8.50 am, while Shiv will be joined by Sweden's World No. 361 Johan Carlsson and France's World No. 1227 Thomas Levet at 2 pm.
However, two-time defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Germany's World No. 21 and 2014 US Open champion Martin Kaymer and England's World No. 32 and 23-time winner on the European Tour Lee Westwood are favourites.
They will be challenged by Denmark's World No. 86 Thomas Bjørn, Wales' World No. 33 Jamie Donaldson, France's World No. 37 Victor Dubuisson and Scotland's World No. 60 Stephen Gallacher.
World No. 48 McDowell has his family with him in Paris this week as he looks to resume that upward trend after missing the cut in the US Open.
“Really I have to start the ball rolling again and start that momentum gathering,” the 35-year-old told the official website. “I feel a lot happier where I am mentally now than where I was four or five months ago.”