Open de France given increased importance for Ryder Cup hopefuls


The 2016 Open de France will count as two tournaments for those seeking to earn a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team.

Under new regulations, anyone hoping to represent Europe at Hazeltine next year must play in at least five regular European Tour events during the 2016 season.

Having confirmed last month that it will no longer co-sanction the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which has been moved to the same week as the Open de France, the European Tour has moved to add further prestige to the latter tournament.

A statement on the Tour's official website confirmed the competition at future Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National "will count as two tournaments played on the 2016 Race to Dubai and carry enhanced Ryder Cup points".

An increased prize fund has also been agreed for the Open de France's centenary edition.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: "We recognise that many of our members play a global schedule, and with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational not part of the Race to Dubai next year, these measures will help them do that again next year.

"At the same time, the changes for 2016 also reflect the importance of the Alstom Open de France to the European Tour, with the tournament having been an ever present on our international schedule since our inception in 1972.

"Next year will be the 100th edition of the tournament, while it will be only two years until Le Golf National hosts the 2018 Ryder Cup, so I am confident these enhancements will add to the celebrations in Paris next year."

The news was announced on the same day Paul Casey opted not to take European Tour membership for next season, ending his chances of featuring in the 2016 Ryder Cup.