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GOLF

Parnevik fires career-best 61 to lead Texas Open

Jesper Parnevik recovered with a vengeance on Thursday, rebounding from an opening bogey to shoot a career-best 61 in the first round of the Texas Open.

The Swede’s nine-under effort at LaCantera Golf Course gave him a four-shot lead over a group of 10 players in the 4.5 million-dollar event.

Starting on the back nine, Parnevik bogeyed the 10th but wasted no time bouncing back. He birdied 11 and added five more on his outward run, including one at 16 that started a run of four in a row.

Looking for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2001 Honda Classic, Parnevik closed his round with back-to-back birdies to pad his lead.

At 138th on the money list, Parnevik has some work to do to get into the top 125 and keep his US Tour card for next season.

He tied for 17th last week at the Viking Classic in one of his best performances of the season – and he continued his strong play Thursday.

“I putted well all day. I hit two great shots into 10. Came up short. Didn’t get it up and down. Started with a bogey,” Parnevik said. “But normally that’s when the panic sets in a little bit, and you think you’re going to have a really (lousy) day. I felt good about the game, good about the putter. I made birdie on the next hole. That was it.”

Robert Gamez, Justin Leonard, Mathias Gronberg, Bob Tway, Matt Hendrix, Neal Lancaster, Shigeki Maruyama, Daniel Chopra, Richard S. Johnson and Dan Forsman were tied for second at five-under 65.

GOLF

Sweden’s Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters

Sweden's Alex Noren came back from a seven-shot overnight deficit to claim a dramatic French Open victory at Le Golf National on Sunday, as the difficult closing stretch of the Ryder Cup course saw a host of challengers slip up.

Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters
Swedish golfer Alex Noren holds the trophy after winning the HNA Open de France, as part of the European Tour 2018, on Sunday. Photo: LUCAS BARIOULET / AFP
Fellow Swede Marcus Kinhult had entered Sunday's play with a two-shot lead but struggled through a five-over final round to end in a three-way tie for fifth.
 
World number 16 Noren fired a brilliant four-under 67 to reach seven-under par for the tournament, before sitting back and watching his rivals falter as he won by a single stroke.
 
The 35-year-old will be a key figure for Europe when the Ryder Cup gets underway on September 28, and he showed all his qualities by playing the last three holes in two-under.
 
The big-name pairing of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm both threatened, but the two Spaniards found water at the 18th, while world number two Justin Thomas never seriously contended.
 
Julian Suri, who was looking to become the first American winner of the event since Barry Jaeckel in 1972, went to the 72nd hole on eight-under but made a watery double-bogey, while England's Chris Wood also blew a late lead.
 
That handed Noren, who finished his fourth round 45 minutes before the final group, a 10th European Tour title and first since the BMW PGA Championship in May 2017, when he also fought back from seven shots behind on the final day.
 
Scotland's Russell Knox carded a final-round 65 earlier in the day to finish tied for second with Suri and Wood on six-under — enough to secure him a spot for the British Open at Carnoustie along with Kinhult and Suri.