Joost Luiten heads to Le Golf National this week for the 100th Open De France as he looks to improve his record at the event during an encouraging season for him personally.
The Dutchman burst on to the scene in 2011 when he won the Iskandar Johor Open on the European Tour and climbed inside the top-100 golfers in the world. After an unimpressive 2012, Luiten got back to his best in 2013, winning the Lyoness Open and capturing his home crown, the KLM Open. He also recorded a runner-up finish at the Irish Open that year and carried the form into 2014. Another victory in addition to six top-five results helped the 30-year-old jump inside the top-30 of the world ranking.
Last year promised something better when Luiten finished in a tie for 11th at the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour at the beginning of the season, butthe four-time European Tour winner failed to kick on. He recorded one top-10 finish in his remaining season, a tie for fourth at the Scottish Open, and slipped down to 85th in the rankings by the end of the year.
In 2016 he’s shown glimpses of his best, starting with a top-10 finish at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He’s since added a further six top-10s, with best performances of runner-up at both the Open de Espana and Shenzhen International.
The strange anomaly with Luiten is that despite his impressive form, he has struggled at the Open de France having not recorded a top-15 finish in five attempts. The 30-year-old’s best performance came back in 2014, when he tied for 18th, but he’s finished outside the top-40 on every other occasion. The Dutchman’s only joy that has come in France in his career is when he won the 2007 Toulouse Open while he was still on the Challenge Tour.
The world number 63 will look to record his best finish at Le Golf National this week as he goes in search of the double points on offer for European players chasing Ryder Cup spots. The Bleiswijk-born player currently sits 19th in the standings and knows a top finish will propel him into contention.