Golf: Lyle looks for repeat

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SANDY LYLE returned to Paris at the national course near the Palace of Versailles this week hoping the French connection - and a new set of clubs - can help him become a winner again.

The French Open title was one of Lyle's early tournament successes, in 1981, when it was played at St Germain, but today he tees off seeking his first victory in more than 18 months. He will do so with a new set of clubs made by Greg Norman's company, Cobra. Lyle believes that only his putting is stopping him from being a more consistent threat.

Paris marks the start of a busy spell for the 36-year-old Scot, who will play three tournaments between now and the Open at Turnberry in three weeks' time. He tees off today with the Italian Costantino Rocca, who won this title last year after a play- off with Ireland's Paul McGinley.

The Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal, who missed the cut at the US Open, heads a strong Spanish contingent that includes Miguel Jimenez, seventh in the Order of Merit, Manuel Pinero and Miguel Angel Martin, the 1992 French Open winner.

Iain Pyman, who finished third in only his second Tour event in Jersey last Sunday, would secure his card for next season if he can push his earnings towards pounds 40,000.