Austria's Bernd Wiesberger won the French Open at Le Golf National by three strokes.
Bernd Wiesberger added his name to the illustrious list of Alstom Open de France champions thanks to a brilliant closing 65 at the tricky Le Golf National.
The Austrian carded six birdies in a flawless round to finish 13-under par, three shots ahead of playing partner James Morrison, who also did not drop a shot in a closing 67.
Overnight leader Jaco van Zyl was two shots further back after a disappointing 73, but at least had the consolation of joining Morrison in claiming one of the three qualifying places on offer for The Open.
— Under Armour Golf (@UAGolf) July 5, 2015
Rafael Cabrera-Bello secured the remaining place thanks to a stunning back nine of 29 after going to the turn in 40, the Spaniard carding two eagles and two birdies to finish fifth, a shot behind Martin Kaymer.
Kaymer was within a shot of the lead after birdies on the first and third, but could only pick up one more shot before seeing his third to the 18th spin back into the water.
Wiesberger began the day three shots off the lead but took command of the tournament in stunning fashion with five birdies in six holes from the fourth after a onehour delay due to lightning.
That gave him a four-shot lead and although Morrison closed to within two thanks to birdies on the 12th, 13th and 16th, Wiesberger crucially saved par from the back of the 17th green and rounded off his third European Tour title in style with a birdie on the last.
“It was a great year but a tough year for me so far,” said Wiesberger, who was no lower than sixth in his first four events of the season and lost a play-off for the Irish Open at Royal County Down in May.
“I have had a lot of success but just could not quite pull it off so to stand here with the trophy makes it pretty sweet.”
— Damian Taylor (@golfdtaylor) July 5, 2015
Morrison, who won the Spanish Open in May, was delighted with his performance after taking a two-shot lead into the final round in Munich last week, only to finish 11th after a closing 77.
“Last week was pretty hard to take but I came here, got back to business and my game is improving every day,” Morrison said. “I am doing all the right things.
“Bernd played superbly today, he won the tournament. Simple as that. He played fantastic.”
Tiger Woods completed his first bogey-free round in almost two years to gain some positive momentum and confidence ahead of the Open Championship, the third major of the season in 10 days.
He shot a three-under par 67 round yesterday at The Greenbrier Classic, but he did play like the Woods of old, finding 12 out of 14 fairways and hitting 15 out of 18 greens in regulation.
The last time he played a professional round without making a bogey was during the first 18 of the 2013 Barclays Open. He has played 54 rounds since then.
The former world No1 finally finished on seven-under par 273 for the tournament, which should see him finish in the mid-30s, but could have gone a lot lower on the final day if not for a putter that refused to cooperate.
Tiger Woods posted a score of 67 today after posting a 66 in the 1st round of the event His 2 lowest scores in any round since March 2014
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 5, 2015
At the time of going to press, the red-hot American Kevin Kisner had taken the clubhouse lead at 13-under par following a round of six-under par 64.
The American, with four top-eight finishes in his last eight tournaments, made seven birdies and a solitary bogey.
A satisfied Woods said after the round: “Today was a good day. I played really well today.
“It’s the best I have hit it in a very long time. I had full control over all the clubs. I hit it great, I shaped it both ways, right-to-left, left-to-right, I had it all on call today.
“I just need to make some putts. Today was just one of those days. The putts that I read perfectly, I hit right, they still lipped out.
“I made absolutely nothing. I think we counted up, I had six lip-outs for birdie, so this could have been one of those special rounds, I really could have gone low.”
Woods had birdie or eagle chances on eight consecutive holes from 20 feet or inside, but could not make any of them.
The American had started the tournament with a round of four-under par 66, but that needed just 25 putts, while yesterday’s effort saw him make 31 putts.
The next tournament for Woods is the Open Championship at St Andrews, where he has won in 2000 and 2005, and he sounded optimistic about his chances again.
Tiger Woods, who used a putter: “I made absolutely nothing.” Robert Streb, who used a wedge: “LOL.”
— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) July 5, 2015
“I made some nice strides heading into the British Open,” he said. “I’ll do some good work next week and be ready come Thursday.”
Woods said the turning point for him was the Memorial, where he shot an 85 in the third round.
“I made a big, giant step at Memorial,” he said. “The pattern was set. I just had to refine it.
“This week we did that. We definitely refined it… I was excited about what I was able to do at Memorial, even though I shot those high numbers, shifting the baseline like I did. I’m here now in this position. I’m very excited about that.”