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French Open boosted by Tour

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 21-11-2015 skysports.com

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

The European Tour has strengthened its support for next year's French Open after it was placed in direct competition with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. 

A re-working of the PGA Tour's 2016 calendar to accommodate golf's return to the Olympics saw the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational brought forward to the end of June, during the same week the Alstom Open de France is played at Le Golf National, venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup.

The European Tour has already withdrawn its sanction of the WGC event, meaning money won in Akron will not count for Ryder Cup points or towards the Race to Dubai.

And chief executive Keith Pelley has now announced the Open de France will offer increased prize money and extra world ranking points, as well as counting as two of the five tournaments outside majors and WGC events which players now need to play to fulfil their membership.

The winner will also collect 64 points towards the Ryder Cup world points list - Bernd Wiesberger won 36 in July - and one million towards the European points list, while the overall prize fund has increased by €500,000 to 3.5m.

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."

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