Alex Noren wins Open de France

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Alex Noren claimed his second Rolex Series win on the European Tour during a dramatic final day at the Open de France.

Noren was the first to admit he was an unlikely winner for the latest Rolex Series event. The Swede had started the day seven shots adrift of the leaders, but a four-under 67 ended up being good enough to win as the leaders all faded around the tough finish at Le Golf National. 

The now 10-time European Tour winner set the clubhouse target at seven-under-par, yet at several points during the final round it seemed it wouldn’t be low enough to take the Open de France title. 

“It’s unbelievable, I never thought I was going to win,” Noren told Sky Sports. “It’s a tricky golf course and the first two days were tough for me, but I played a lot better over the weekend.”

He was still one shot behind the on-course leaders when he signed his card, but Julian Suri became the first to drop out of contention with a double-bogey his final hole of the day.

From there, it was Chris Wood who looked to be the man to beat as he held a one shot lead with four holes to play. However, costly bogeys on both the 15th and 17th hole meant he needed to hole out from the bunker on the 18th for birdie to force a play-off. 

Noren was on the practice green when he was told Wood hadn’t managed to birdie the final hole, guaranteeing him as champion. 

“When you’re out there you really want this win and it felt unbelievable to get it today,” he said. “It’s what I was putting and practising for, maybe a play-off, it was unreal how it went and I didn’t expect that.”

A win at this year’s Ryder Cup venue moves the Swede in to fourth spot on the World Rankings for the European team, and Noren is hopeful this will help him secure his spot as a rookie in this year’s side.

“If I would be on the team it would mean a lot,” he added. “You get good memories from here. The first two years I came here I thought I could never win around here and the last three years I’ve had good results. It helps a lot.”

Fellow Ryder Cup near-certainties Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia both looked to be in with a chance on the final day, but with a triple-bogey on each of their cards the Spanish duo could do no better than finish two and three shots back respectively.

World No.2 Justin Thomas ended up alongside Garcia on four-under after a final-round 71, while overnight leader Marcus Kinhult struggle to a five-over final round to sit by Jon Rahm on five-under-par. 

WITB: Alex Noren 

Driver: 
Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (9°)
Mitsubishi Tensei Orange CK 60TX shaft

Fairway wood: 
Callaway Rogue (13.5°)
Mitsubishi Diamana White 80X shaft

Hybrid:
Callaway Apex (18°)
Mitsubishi Diamana HY 90X shaft

Irons: 
Callaway Apex Pro 16 (4-9)
True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Wedges: 
Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (46°/50°/60°)
True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: 
Odyssey O-Works #1

Ball: 
Callaway Chrome Soft

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