Justin Thomas was the lone high-ranking American to tee it up in the French Open this past weekend at Le Golf National in Paris, the site of the 2018 Ryder Cup, which will take place later this year.
As such, his steady four-round performance of 70-70-69-71 at the par-71 layout netted him a top-10 finish in addition to the advantage of having played a tournament on the course ahead of the biennial matches, which begin on September 28.
The highlight of the week for JT came on the 72nd hole where a wayward approach into the water-protected 18th green came to rest on a walking bridge some 30 yards from the hole. Undaunted, the former World No. 1 played a bump and run beautifully, nearly holing the birdie chip, but settling for a par.
“It was great,” Thomas said of the trip. “If you told me at the start of the week I would have four rounds under par or better, I would have been very pleased. I am. Today didn’t go how I would have wanted. I very easily could have won this golf tournament, which is frustrating, but it definitely wasn’t a wasted trip.”
Thomas’ 4-under par total ended up being three shots short of what was needed to tie eventual winner Alexander Noren.
“It’s all right in front of you,” Thomas said of the venue. “There aren’t any tricks. It’s a good, hard, championship golf course. You have to drive it straight. It’s pretty much all everybody back at home knew. So just work on the shots off the tee a little bit more.
“You could put us on any golf course in the world and we’re going to get excited to play The Ryder Cup, and the fact that it’s at a great golf course and a great venue like this here in Versailles makes it better.”