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Rookie Friberg secures shock tour victory

Sweden's Louise Friberg fired a final round seven-under 65 as she rallied from a 10-shot deficit to capture the LPGA's MasterCard Classic in Mexico City on Sunday.

Rookie Friberg secures shock tour victory
Photo: Miguel Tovar/AP

Friberg, of Helsingborg, reached six-under 210 to post a one-stroke victory over Tawain’s Tseng Yani for her first LPGA Tour title.

Making her fourth career LPGA start in her rookie season, Friberg entered Sunday’s final round 10 strokes behind South Korea’s Oh Ji-Young.

Oh suffered a final-round collapse, tumbling down the leaderboard with a seven-over 79. Friberg had an eagle and six birdies with just one bogey.

“After the first week in Hawaii, it didn’t take me many hours to feel at home on the LPGA Tour,” Friberg, of Helsingborg said. “I didn’t think I would win so quickly.

“I’m going to stick with my game plan and keep going, but I don’t think this has all sunk in yet.”

Friberg said she will treasure this win not only because it is her first but because she has been battling a virus the past few days.

“I don’t know what to say,” Friberg said. “I guess Sunday’s are my day. A lot of times I’ve played good in the last round and I did today, but I’m just happy to get through because I’ve been really sick the past two days.

“But around holes six or seven, I started feeling better. I’m still kind of anxious to get to bed in the hotel.

Tseng was two shots off the pace to begin the round but was unable to take

advantage of Oh’s demise.

Tseng had six birdies on Saturday but managed just one in the final round and finished with a 74.

“I learned a lot from this experience,” Tseng said. “The first couple of holes, I played too fast.

“I know, in the future, I’ll take my time and be patient.”

Jane Park (70) and Jill McGill (72) tied for third at four-under.

Oh ended up in a tie for eighth at two-under along with Mexican star Lorena Ochoa, who rebounded from a pair of disappointing rounds to close with a 68.

Ranked number one in the world, Ochoa is now winless in four starts at Bosque Real Country Club.

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.