Thongchai Jaidee romps to four-stroke victory at 100th French Open
Thai’s three-under-par 68 helps him hold off the chasing pack, with Italian Francesco Molinari second and Rory McIlroy third
Rory McIlroy had to settle for third place as Thongchai Jaidee romped to a four-shot victory in the 100th French Open at Golf National on Sunday.
Thailand’s Thongchai went into the final round with a two-stroke lead and a fantastic three-under-par 68 helped him easily hold off the chasing pack on 11 under par.
The 46-year-old went 39 holes without a bogey on the challenging Albatros course, until he opted for safety on the 72nd hole with the title already all but assured.
A brace of birdies on each nine were enough for the world number 57 to seal his eighth European Tour title, with what was amazingly his first top-10 finish of the season.
The closest anyone got to Thongchai on the back nine was when Andy Sullivan made three consecutive birdies to get to eight under.
But the Englishman’s challenge came to a disappointing end with a bogey on 17 followed by a watery triple bogey at the last.
McIlroy failed to find his best from tee to green, and narrowly missed a succession of birdie putts.
The world number four began the day tied for second place with Jeunghun Wang, but his only birdie came at the par-five 14th as he was forced to settle for an even-par closing effort of 71.
Italian Francesco Molinari ended up in second place after shooting a five-under-par 66, the joint-best round of the week.
The two-time Ryder Cup winner rolled in seven birdies to give his hopes of making Darren Clarke’s European team for the matches at Hazeltine in September a massive boost.