Justin Thomas, the world No 2, may be using this week’s French Open as a Ryder Cup scouting mission but he wants to land two victories at Le Golf National this year.
Thomas, the US PGA champion, has travelled to the venue outside Paris, where he is aiming to help the Americans make a successful defence of the Ryder Cup in September, seeking an individual victory that would be just as gratifying.
“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,” said Thomas as he prepared to lock horns with a European contingent headed by Tommy Fleetwood.
“This event is 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.”
Also in the Paris line-up is Russell Knox, who joins Scott Jamieson, Richie Ramsay, David Drysdale, Stephen Gallacher, Bradley Neil and Connor Syme in flying the Saltire in the first of three successive $7 million Rolex Series events.
Elsewhere, Catriona Matthew is the sole Scot in the third women’s major of the season, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Illinois, while David Law, fresh from his breakthrough win on Scottish soil last weekend, leads five Scots into battle in this week’s Challenge Tour event in Denmark.
Closer to home, Bathgate’s Chris Curran takes a slender lead into the final round of the Scottish Young Professionals Championship at West Lothian. He reeled off six birdies in a row in a second-day 67 to sit on six-under, one ahead of Myles Cunningham (Gullane) and Sam Binning (Mearns Castle).
In the non-paid ranks, Chloe Goadby, Hannah McCook and Gemma Batty are through to the match-play phase in the Ladies British Amateur Championship at Hillside.