Justin Thomas keen for Open de France success

Golf
Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas

World number two Justin Thomas insists he is at the French Open to win the tournament not scout Le Golf National for September's Ryder Cup.

The US PGA Champion said his first appearance at the event in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, just outside Paris, was for personal and team gain.

"It obviously has some additional intent to it with the Ryder Cup, but it just worked out in the schedule for me to come here," the American told a press conference.

"I wanted to play against a great field and it looks like we're going to.

"It's an opportunity for world rankings points and there are so many positives: an opportunity to come to Paris, visit Versaille and I didn't want to take three weeks off before a major.

"It's a big deal on the European Tour and I'm happy you are letting me come over here and crash the party.

"It would mean more to me winning a European Tour event because it's something I've never done.

"It would help deep inside of me (for the Ryder Cup), but it is so far away and (the course) will be playing so different.

"It would be a tremendous honour just to win the tournament alone."

Thomas revealed a number of his likely Ryder Cup team-mates will play the course next month when they make the trans-Atlantic journey for the Open.

However, he will not be joining them in France.

"I felt coming here and getting hopefully four competitive rounds and some practice rounds would be plenty for me," added the 25-year-old, who has already done his sightseeing in Paris - avoiding the mistake compatriot Bubba Watson made in 2011 when he referred to "that big tower" (Eiffel Tower), an "arch I drove around in a circle" (Arc de Triomphe) and "a building starting with L" (the Louvre).

"For me the Open is a major which I prep my schedule around all year so I want to be rested for that.

"I will take a week off. Although it would be very productive in terms of the Ryder Cup I need to get my body and mind ready for the Open Championship."

Thomas will play the first two rounds with defending champion Tommy Fleetwood and home favourite Alexander Levy.

The Southport golfer, who struggled at last week's BMW International Open off the back of his US Open runner-up finish, expected to see more American Ryder Cup hopefuls this week.

"I am a little bit surprised there is only him here. I'd have expected a couple more," said Fleetwood, who has fond memories of his one-shot victory which helped him win the season-ending Race to Dubai.

"This event came last year when I was pretty much in the form of my life and it solidified a lot of hard work and a lot of good golf.

"My energy levels are better than last week. It's nice to come back with such good memories."

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