Oh the Ryder Cup Matches are gonna be something to see.
The finish at the Open de France was something to see on Sunday outside Paris as Le Golf National chalked up an impressive list of victims and by day’s end — just one victor.
Le Golf National is one tough beast and it showed off down the stretch on a warm. windy afternoon with a big Rolex Series event on the line.
Alex Noren solved the puzzled early, he birdied the 16th and 17th holes then made a solid par at the punishing 18th to post seven-under. Behind him, Chris Wood and Julian Suri were both eight-under with a win awaiting if they could find some finishing pars.
Suri had his chance first. His drive at the 18th found safety in the first cut, light rough, good lie and a stock five or six-iron to the middle of the green would seal the win.
Suri’s second didn’t come close. It was a weak flair to the right, falling 10 yards short of land, into the water. He’d finish with a double-bogey six and fell back to six-under with a closing 69.
Wood was eight-under through 14 holes but his short game wasn’t good enough to get him in the house. He missed the green at the 15th, made a sloppy bogey there then another at 17 when he missed from just seven feet for par. He fell back to six-over, just like that, closed with 73.
Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm lost their chances early and late. Garcia started his day with a triple at the first, a double at the last and lost by just three shots. Rahm will look back at the triple he made at the 12th and know why he didn’t win. Rahm finished five-under, Garcia four.
Overnight leader Marcus Kinhult was a 21-year-old bulldog for 54 holes but the young Swede succumbed to the final round pressure. On Saturday he was a birdie machine with five-straight to finish the front nine but on Sunday, he found just one out there all day and that was offset by a triple, a double and a bogey for a closing 76 and a tie for fifth, his best showing on the European Tour.
Noren waited patiently, hit balls on the range, then headed in to collect his prize after Wood bunkered his third at the 18th.
In all, it was only Noren who could score his way over the final nine. He was bogey-free coming home and went 65-67 over the weekend on a bear of a layout.
He’ll be back in the fall on the European side for the Ryder Cup but he’s not taking a spot on the team for granted:
“If I would be on the team it would mean a lot,” he said. “You get good memories from here. 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. It helps a lot.”
Le Golf National will be waiting for both teams.