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Noren claims 10th European title Ormsby 12th

Noren following his come from behind win. (Photo: Getty Images / European Tour )
Sweden’s Alex Noren has come from seven shots off the 54 hole pace of Marcus Kinhult to win the HNA Open de France at Le Golf National in Paris and in doing so has claimed a 10th European Tour title.

Noren won by one shot over American, Julia Suri, Scotland's, Russell Knox, and England’s Chris Wood, Suri and Knox earning Open Championship starts to help compensate for their near miss this week. The leading three players finishing inside the top ten this week and not otherwise qualified for the Open now have their ticket to Carnoustie. Wood  was already exempt.

Kinhult, who tied for 5th despite a last round of 76, was the third to earn a ticket to Carnoustie out of this week’s event.

The 35 year old Noren’s last win came at the BMW PGA Championship 14 months ago but there has been a string of good performances in the meantime in both Europe and the USA and will take Noren inside the top 15 in the world ranking.

“This golf course, it's very tough but there are also birdies out there if you hit the greens and if you hit the fairways,” said a delighted winner. "It there's any golf course that's tough to be in the lead, it's probably this one, and coming from behind, I thought I needed to get to eight under to have a chance for a play-off but there are so many tough holes.

“It feels amazing. I've been close this year in America and then two shots off Francesco's (Molinari) win at Wentworth. When you're out there, you really want this win, and it felt unbelievable to get it today. 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.”

“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. I think all of us golfers work that way, we like places that we have played good on before.”

Knox was delighted to have qualified for the Open in his home country of Scotland; “This was one of the huge goals coming over here, to try and play my way in (to The Open). I’m thrilled. Obviously, you don’t want to miss an Open Championship in Scotland being a Scot so job done.

“I’ve only played Carnoustie a couple of times, a long time ago. To be honest, I don’t know much about it other than it is extremely difficult. Obviously, I have watched previous Open Championships there and know the history, Paul Lawrie winning which was cool. I can’t wait, it’s going to be fun.”

John Rahm finished 5th this week sharing that place with Kinhult and Matthew Soutgate but a triple bogey at his 12th hole when he appeared to be working his way to the top of the leaderboard cost him his chance.

South Australian Wade Ormsby was the leading Australian and after an outward nine of 33 his prospects of at least a start at the Open appeared good. He was unable to build any further momentum over the closing 9 holes however and eventually finished 12th.

It was Ormsby’s best finish of 2018 however and a cheque for €95,000 is another good reward for the man who won the Hong Kong Open in December.

Of the other Australasians in the field, Sam Brazel was next best in a share of 35th place, Scott Hend and Ryan Fox 44th and Josh Geary and Brett Rumford 61st.

The European Tour will now head to Ballyliffin Golf Club in County Donegal in Ireland for this coming week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.



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