French Open 2017
Round 4 - Tommy Fleetwood clinches narrow winJuly 3, 2017
On a course that had always got the better of him in recent years, in-form English golfer Tommy Fleetwood hit a faultless 5-under 66 to win the French Open by one shot ahead of Peter Uihlein of the United States on Sunday.
Fleetwood had five birdies and no bogeys to finish at 12 under while Uihlein just failed to force a playoff after making a late charge.
''I can't believe how close he got,'' Fleetwood said. ''On 14 I tapped in and I was four clear, and finishing with four pars round here I didn't think I'd be scratching the win by a shot.''
The 26-year-old Fleetwood has been in good form recently, finishing fourth at the U.S. Open last month. This was his third European Tour win and second of the year, after clinching the prestigious Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January ahead of Dustin Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal.
''I played great today, felt comfy again and it's always great to test your game and test what you work on every day under the ultimate pressure.
''My fiancee is my manager, my caddie's one of my best mates in the world,'' Fleetwood said. ''I have really strong relationships ... when you enjoy doing your job, that's a massive positive.''
The victory moved Fleetwood to the top of the Race to Dubai rankings.
Fleetwood failed to make the cut before in four previous appearances at the Golf National course - which is hosting next year's Ryder Cup. But his performance was arguably not that surprising, given his seven top 10 finishes in 13 events this year.
He became the first Englishman to win here since Graeme Storm in 2007.
Uihlein, the overnight co-leader, was seeking his second career win and posted a 3-under 68.
The American made a rough start, with bogeys on holes 4 and 5. But he then recovered superbly, sinking four birdies from Nos. 11 to 17 to give himself a chance of catching Fleetwood. Ultimately, Uihlein fell short, managing only par on the 18th.
''The only thing I probably would try and redo is maybe be a little bit more aggressive on 15, 16. It was just a bad tee shot on 18, so I didn't give myself much of a chance,'' Uihlein said . ''I just wanted to try and at least make him earn it. All I was trying to do was just put a little pressure on him. I didn't want him to feel like he could bogey a couple of holes and still be OK.''
Still, Uihlein did manage to qualify for the British Open, starting July 20 at Royal Birkdale, along with Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Sweden's Alexander Bjork.
''It was a good week,'' Uihlein said. ''It's a good event to finish runner-up and it gets me into The Open and it moves me up the Race to Dubai rankings a little bit.''
Royal Birkdale is close to the Merseyside region of northwest England, which is where Fleetwood grew up as a passionate supporter of Liverpool-based soccer club Everton.
Playing there will feel very much like a homecoming for Fleetwood.
''It's going to be a massive week for me. I'm going to be playing in front of crowds that I never have before and people that you have grown up with,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's going to be an amazing experience from start to finish.''
Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark had eight birdies in a 6-under 65, while Lorenzo-Vera shot 66 as both charged up the leaderboard to finish in a tie for third with Bjork (71) at 8 under.
Bjork, the overnight co-leader with Uihlein, could only manage par on the day, with three bogeys canceling out his three birdies.
Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Englishman Andy Sullivan - one shot back from the co-leaders overnight along with Fleetwood - had a bad day with 3-over 74s.
Pieters had three double bogeys, and Sullivan one double bogey and four bogeys. The pair drifted down to 13th at 4-under, alongside Irishman Paul Dunne, who made an inspired 65 to climb up 31 places from overnight.
Round 3 - Alexander Bjoerk & Peter Uihlein share leadJuly 2, 2017
Alexander Bjoerk of Sweden joined American Peter Uihlein at the top of the leaderboard going into the final round of the French Open near Paris on Saturday, with Tommy Fleetwood among those lurking just behind.
Bjoerk and Uihlein sit at eight under par, while Fleetwood is one of a trio of players a shot back at seven under alongside his fellow Englishman Andy Sullivan and Belgium's Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters.
Uihlein had held a share of the lead along with Adrian Otaegui at the halfway stage at Le Golf National, the venue to the south-west of the French capital that will host the Ryder Cup in 2018.
However, Otaegui's hopes of a first tour victory suffered a blow as he shot a three-over-par 74 to slip back to five under, three shots off the pace.
But Uihlein kept himself right in contention with a solid level-par 71, despite a bogey at the first after finding the water with his second shot.
He collected his sole birdie of the day at the long 14th and settled for a par at the last after almost holing a brilliant wedge approach over the water.
"I was proud of the way I handled myself on the back nine. I felt like I hit it a lot better after a shaky start. I'm excited for tomorrow," said the 27-year-old from Florida.
Bjoerk, the Challenge Tour graduate, started the day a shot off the pace and was struggling as he went out in 38, two over par. But he came back in 32 for a one-under-par round of 70 that leaves a first European Tour title in sight.
There is also the prospect of a place at the British Open on offer, with three spots in the field at Royal Birkdale available for the top non-exempt trio finishing in the top 10.
"I'm happy. Happy with the way I played and the way I fought with the start and I came back in the end," Bjoerk told europeantour.com. "It should be a lot of fun. Really looking forward to tomorrow."
Fleetwood, who finished fourth at last month's US Open and is second in the Race to Dubai rankings, had three birdies and three bogeys in a 71.
Sullivan's 68 was the joint-lowest round of the day as he turned in level par before birdies at the 10th, 11th and the short 16th.
Another Englishman, Paul Waring, who had led after the first round, is not out of it at five under despite a one-over 72. His day was marred by a double-bogey six at the 15th and another at the last when he found the water with his approach.
Sweden's Alex Noren, the top-ranked player in the field at eight in the world, fired a 69 to sit at four under par.
Round 2 - Adrian Otaegui and Peter Uihlein share leadJuly 1, 2017
Spaniard Adrian Otaegui and Peter Uihlein of the United States shared the lead at 8-under after rain disrupted play in the second round of the French Open on Friday.
Otaegui shot a 5-under 66 after rolling in six birdies on the Golf National course that will stage the Ryder Cup next year. After storms halted play for more than two hours late in the afternoon, Uihlein joined him at the top of the leaderboard with a 67 - matching his score from the first round.
Otaegui bogeyed the second hole but made up for it with birdies on the sixth, ninth and tenth. He then sealed a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th hole with a 40-foot putt on the 16th.
''I made a bogey on the second and missed a five iron just on the right and couldn't make the up-and-down,'' Otaegui said. ''And after that I played great from the tee and made good swings with the driver and the three wood.''
Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and Sweden's Alexander Bjork took a share of third place, one shot behind the co-leaders, and a shot clear of Englishmen Nathan Kimsey and Paul Waring in a tie for fifth heading into Saturday's third round.
Continuing his form from the U.S. Open where he got his highest finish at a major with a fourth place, Fleetwood found his rhythm.
''It's nice to finish this evening rather than getting up early tomorrow morning and coming back and having to wait,'' he said. ''Fortunately for me, I drove it well for two days and I've hit my irons well and I've been in control of my swing and my ball. My strength is ball-striking in general. Hopefully for two more days, I can keep it up.''
Waring, the overnight leader who shot a 7-under 64 in Round 1, finished with a disappointing 72 after bogeying twice. After reaching the turn he also hit a double bogey following a bad approach into the water.
Round 1 - Paul Waring takes first round honoursJune 30, 2017
Englishman Paul Waring fired an opening-round seven-under-par 64 to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the French Open at Golf National on Thursday.
The world number 279 carded seven birdies in his bogey-free effort to sit atop the leaderboard, with Belgian Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters in a three-way tie for second place.
Spaniard Jon Rahm signed for a one-under 70 as he looks to boost his chances of playing in the Ryder Cup at Golf National next year, while Tommy Fleetwood, who challenged at the US Open earlier this month, is only three strokes off the lead.
The 32-year-old Waring had four birdies in five holes on the back nine on his way to the lead.
Waring, who is having the best season of his career so far, will play at a major championship for the first time since 2008 at next month's British Open.
Pieters, 25, is looking for his first title of the season after three top-10 finishes, including at the Masters in April.
The world number 28 poured in three successive birdies on the Albatros course on his way to a round of 66, with a bogey on the par-five ninth his only blemish.
England's Fleetwood, who reached a career-high ranking of 21st by finishing fourth in the US Open at Erin Hills, is another who will be expecting to qualify for Thomas Bjorn's European Ryder Cup team.
He hit 17 of 18 greens to get off to a solid start in the tournament that has substantial Ryder Cup points on offer as part of the European Tour's eight-event Rolex Series.
The 22-year-old Rahm mixed four birdies with a bogey and a double bogey in his first round in a European Tour event that isn't co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour.
Nathan Kimsey and Sweden's Alexander Bjork are the other two players tied for second with Pieters, while Thailand's defending champion Thongchai Jaidee struggled to a one-over-par 72.
|T38||POR||Ricardo Melo Gouveia||2||-||73||70||71||72||286|
|65||RSA||Trevor Fisher Jnr||9||-||71||70||76||76||293|
|CUT||RSA||Jaco Van Zyl||3||-||72||73||-||-||145|
|CUT||ESP||Eduardo De La Riva||5||-||76||71||-||-||147|
|CUT||SWE||Magnus A. Carlsson||8||-||73||77||-||-||150|
|CUT||ESP||Jose Maria Olazabal||12||-||73||81||-||-||154|