FRENCH visitors landing on these shores are part of Hartlepool legend.
But next week a seaside invasion from France is very much reality.
Seaton Carew is to stage domestic amateur golf’s showpiece when the Brabazon Trophy is played on the famous links.
A field of 150 containing the best golfers from Great Britain and abroad will battle it out over four days, from a week on Wednesday to the Saturday.
And the international challenge will be led by 11 French golfers, including Victor Veyret who was the leading overeas finisher in 28th in last year’s Brabazon Trophy in Formby, Lancashire.
There are also golfers from Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, South Africa and Turkey in the field.
And if there is to be a winner from outside Great Britain and Ireland there is a strong contingent from South Africa.
Teenage sensation Thriston Lawrence is a hot tip at Seaton Carew.
The 17-year-old has been South African amateur champion for the last two seasons and has warmed up in style by triumphing in the Lytham Trophy last month.
Lawrence, clearly at home by the seaside after his stunning success in Lancashire, is looking to emulate one of his country’s greats, Charl Schwartzel, who won the Brabazon Trophy agedjust 17 in 2002.
Schwartzel went on to win the 2011 Masters and big things are expected of his compatriot.
Lawrence has has been picked in the oustanding match in the draw for the opening two days of England’s leading stroke play championship.
He has been paired at Seaton with defending champion Jordan Smith and another highly-touted English golfer, Ryan Evans.
Smith, Lawrence and Evans are out in group six at 7.50am on Wednesday amd 12.20pm on Thursday.
Wiltshire golfer Smith won the tournament by four strokes 12 months ago in Formby, the only player in the championship to break par.
Evans, from Wellingborough, Northants, an England team-mate of Smith, is also a fancied competitor after the best spell of his career following two wins over the winter in Australia.
Two more England men are paired together, Jimmy Mullen, from Royal North Devon, who was equal third last year, and Hertfordshire’s Tomasz Anderson.
They tee off 10 minutes before the main stars on each day, playing alongside Woburn’s Jean-Michel Hall.a