Alex Noren wins Open de France, Shubhankar T27

July 02, 2018: Alex Noren overturned a seven shot deficit for the second time in Rolex Series event as he claimed the HNA Open de France title after a …

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Alex Noren wins HNA Open de France

July 02, 2018: Alex Noren overturned a seven shot deficit for the second time in Rolex Series event as he claimed the HNA Open de France title after a dramatic final day at Le Golf National.

Shubhankar Sharma saved his best to the end, producing a final round 68 to rise up the order to T27. The Indian ended the week at an even par 284.

Noren started the final round in a share of seventh place but moved serenely through the field with a closing 67, as Le Golf National hinted at some of the drama in store in September when it hosts The 2018 Ryder Cup.

Spanish stars Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, Ryder Cup player Chris Wood and American Julian Suri all had their chances to reel in overnight leader Marcus Kinhult, but each one, including Kinhult himself, gradually succumbed to the notoriously unforgiving Albatros Course, with Noren’s seven under par clubhouse target proving enough for his tenth European Tour title.

There was a certain sense of déjà vu for the 35 year old who also won the first Rolex Series event, the 2017 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, after coming back from seven shots back on the final day.

Noren’s compatriot Kinhult had held a two shot overnight advantage from Ryder Cup player Wood, but his challenge gradually faded as the lead changed hands several times, with the 21 year old carding a triple bogey on the fourth and double bogey on the 15th in his round of 76.

Kinhult was not the only one to experience the true test posed by the Albatros, with Suri holding a one shot lead on the 18th fairway, but the American found the water with his approach to the island green, and went on to make a double bogey six for a round of 69.

That meant he slipped back into a share of second place on six under par, alongside Scotland’s Russell Knox, who posted a fine bogey-free round of 65, and Wood, who threatened to force play-off before a bogey on the 17th hole proved one shot too many for the Englishman.

Garcia and Rahm were also unable to sustain their challenges, with Garcia’s round of 74 bookended by double bogeys, after the 2017 Masters Champion found the water on the first and 18th holes. He had to settle for a share of eighth place alongside World Number Two Justin Thomas (71) on four under par.

Garcia’s playing partner Rahm triple bogeyed the 12th en route to a one over par 72 as he finished tied fifth with Kinhult and Matthew Southgate, who matched Knox’s 65. Overnight leader Kinhult did have the consolation of claiming one of three spots in The Open Championship, with Suri and Knox also heading to Carnoustie later this month.

 

European Tour Release

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