He is currently the top ranked French player on the Race to Dubai, and Benjamin Hebert is hoping that a maiden European Tour win on home soil at the Amundi Open de France this week can help him break into the top ten – or better.
“It’s always special to play on home soil, with so many home fans watching. It’s always interesting to learn how to manage this different pressure. We’re playing on a great golf course and I just try to enjoy it.”
The 32 year old has two second place finishes this season, at the Volvo China Open and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, and currently sits in 17th place on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex as the season enters the final stretch.
“It’s my best season so far. I have two second places, but I think I could have been a little bit better. Still chasing the first win, but I’ll try to improve every part of my game and I think it could be soon.
“I’m in a good position on the Race to Dubai. Like with my game, I will try to improve this placing and maybe get into the top ten or better. This is a very important end of the season coming up, and it’s going to be good.”
He is joined at Le Golf National for continental Europe’s oldest national open by a host of his compatriots, including one man who has already tasted victory this season – the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship winner Victor Perez.
“Being a Frenchman it’s important to be here and play in front of the home fans. A lot of French players are having a good season and really looking forward to the tournament.
“Winning a couple of weeks ago means that there is a little bit of attention on me so I think it’s important to come out and play in front of home fans and hopefully have a good week.
“You want to try to enjoy it as much as possible. It’s very easy to put extra pressure on yourself to perform, but also you can think about it the other way and really enjoy the fact that the fans are here to cheer for you. Then it’s just about having a blast and free-wheeling it, I think that’s a better attitude than feeling the extra pressure.”
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The European Challenge Tour graduate will be under a different kind of pressure this week after making his debut in the event last season, but is hoping to keep relaxed and treat the week like any other tournament.
Romain Langasque is also aiming to cap off a fine season with victory in front of home crowds at the Amundi Open de France, after edging towards his first European Tour win with three top three finishes. He is relishing the challenge posed by the famously testing Albatros Course, which hosted Europe’s victory over the United States in The 2018 Ryder Cup.
“It’s always important to play in front of the French crowd. I know this course very well and I think it’s one of the best on the European Tour.
“My first time playing my home open was tough, but now I’m better prepared, and I enjoy it so much, sharing these moments with my family and friends.
“With the weather as well this week I think it will be a tough test again. The 18th is a tough tee shot under pressure because of the bank on the right and the water on the left. The second shot is quite tough because of the pressure, you see a lot of water. It’s one of the best finishing holes on Tour and I hope to have my chance down there on Sunday.”