Langasque claims maiden win in Wales

Romain Langasque carded a brilliant bogey free 65 to overturn a five shot deficit and win his first European Tour title on a dramatic final day of the 2020 ISPS HANDA Wales Open.

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Romain Langasque wins 2020 ISPS HANDA Wales Open

The Frenchman Romain Langasque, was very much in the chasing pack at the start of the day at The Celtic Manor Resort but, as the leaders moved in the wrong direction, the 2015 Amateur Championship winner produced a putting and short game masterclass.

He produced six birdies to surge through a congested leaderboard and finish at eight under, two shots clear of Finn Sami Välimäki, who carded a 69.

English duo David Dixon and Matthew Jordan finished at five under, a shot clear of countrymen Laurie Canter and James Morrison, and Swede Sebastian Soderberg.

Victory for Langasque hands him a place at next month’s U.S. Open Championship via the top ten of the UK Swing Order of Merit, with Välimäki, Connor Syme and Justin Harding also securing their places at Winged Foot Golf Club alongside Sam HorsfieldThomas DetryAndy SullivanRasmus HøjgaardRenato Paratore and Adrian Otaegui.

Langasque won the Hopps Open de Provence in 2018 on the European Challenge Tour, the same season he regained his card at the Qualifying School, and had a second and two thirds to finish 24th on the 2019 Race to Dubai.

He now enters the winner’s circle in his 78th event and could move into the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking for the second time in his career.

“Everything in golf can go so quick,” he said. “I’m really happy, this is where we all want to be. Now I’ll have some good opportunities. I need to focus again, but it’s where I’m looking forward to go.

“Playing my first U.S. Open this year, the good thing is with no public there’s less pressure on it being my first one. I’m really proud of myself.”

Overnight leaders Soderberg and Syme were three shots ahead on the fifth tee but both found the penalty area with their second shots and, after taking drops and failing to get up and down, the advantage was just one.

Välimäki had failed to get up and down on the third but he recovered the shot on the sixth from eight feet and put his tee shot on the par-three seventh to six feet to join the lead.

Langasque had holed from 30 feet on the third and 20 feet on the sixth before playing an exquisite long chip from the rough at the side of the green on the par five ninth, with a tap-in birdie making it a four way tie.

But Syme hit a nice approach to the fringe at the eighth and holed from 12 feet to get his nose back in front.

Välimäki put his second to 20 feet at the ninth and made his eagle putt to lead on his own but he gave a shot back on the next and there was soon a four way tie again.

Soderberg had made a two-putt birdie on the ninth and Langasque played another excellent long chip on the 11th to get to six under.

A two putt birdie on the par five 11th put Välimäki back in front but Syme joined him from ten feet on the 12th and the Oman Open champion dropped a shot on the same hole.

Langasque then drove the par four 15th for a two putt birdie and took the solo lead from 20 feet on the next, with Syme dropping shots on the 14th and 16th.

Soderberg left himself a tap-in at the 14th but when he put his third on the last into the water for a triple bogey, Langasque – who was perched watching on the hill – knew he was the champion.

Jordan carded a 66 to make his big move on the final day while Dixon, who was the last man in the field by virtue of finishing 48th at last season’s Q School, finished with a 68.

Canter carded a 68, Morrison recorded a 68, and Soderberg’s closing triple left him with a 74 as he surrendered his spot at Winged Foot to Harding.

Scot Syme finished with double bogey in a 75 that left him at three under alongside countryman Calum Hill, Spaniard Jorge Campillo, Malaysia’s Gavin Green, China’s Li Haotong, Australian Jason Scrivener and Englishman Callum Shinkwin.

European Tour Release, Aug 23, 2020