Sport24.co.za | Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title

Sport24.co.za | Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title
Sport24.co.za | Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines - Sweden's Alex Noren came back from a seven-shot overnight deficit to claim a dramatic French Open victory at Le Golf National on Sunday, as the difficult closing stretch of the Ryder Cup course saw a host of challengers slip up.

World number 16 Noren fired a brilliant four-under 67 to reach seven-under par for the tournament, before sitting back and watching his rivals falter as he won by a single stroke.

The 35-year-old will be a key figure for Europe when the Ryder Cup gets underway on September 28, and he showed all his qualities by playing the last three holes in two-under.

The big-name pairing of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm both threatened, but the two Spaniards found water at the 18th, while world number two Justin Thomas never seriously contended.

Julian Suri, who was looking to become the first American winner of the event since Barry Jaeckel in 1972, went to the 72nd hole on eight-under but made a watery double-bogey, while England's Chris Wood also blew a late lead.

That handed Noren, who finished his fourth round 45 minutes before the final group, a 10th European Tour title and first since the BMW PGA Championship in May 2017, when he also fought back from seven shots behind on the final day.

Scotland's Russell Knox carded a final-round 65 earlier in the day to finish tied for second with Suri and Wood on six-under -- enough to secure him a spot for the British Open at Carnoustie along with Marcus Kinhult and Suri.

Leading final-round scores from the French Open at Le Golf National on Sunday (par 71):

277 - Alex Noren (SWE) 73-72-65-67

278 - Russell Knox (SCO) 71-70-72-65, Julian Suri (USA) 70-70-69-69, Chris Wood (ENG) 70-68-67-73

279 - Matthew Southgate (ENG) 71-73-70-65, Jon Rahm (ESP) 70-69-68-72, Marcus Kinhult (SWE) 71-65-67-76

280 - Alexander Bjork (SWE) 73-69-68-70, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 73-71-70-66, Justin Thomas (USA) 70-70-69-71, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 72-70-64-74

281 - Adrian Otaegui (ESP) 74-70-66-71, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 73-71-69-68, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 71-71-71-68, Henric Sturehed (SWE) 75-68-71-67

282 - Shane Lowry (IRL) 70-75-67-70, Thomas Detry (BEL) 74-69-69-70, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 74-67-71-70, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 77-69-68-68, Nino Bertasio (ITA) 76-68-72-66

283 - Jordan Smith (ENG) 71-70-71-71, Paul Dunne (IRL) 74-67-71-71, Ian Poulter (ENG) 72-74-68-69, Ashley Chesters (ENG) 73-72-70-68, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 68-75-72-68, Li Haotong (CHN) 71-73-72-67

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