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GOLF

Hanson shares lead at Stockholm Open

Sweden's Peter Hanson shot a first round 66 on Thursday to jump into a shared lead with Pedro Linhart and Nick Dougherty at the SAS Masters in Stockholm.

Hanson shares lead at Stockholm Open

Spain’s Linhart even had three bogies in his round, but a mammoth seven birdies meant he notched up a four-under par round, matching Hanson and Dougherty who had shot the same score earlier in the day.

It was an impressive comeback by Linhart. He dropped a shot at the 11th — having only started on the 10th — but then recouped himself by earning birdies on the 12th, 14th and first holes.

Unfortunately he dropped shots at the second and seventh holes but they were balanced out with birdies at the third, fifth, eighth and ninth to score 31 in the front nine.

Hanson, starting on the back nine, also gave little indication of what was to come when he sandwiched birdies at the 15th and 16th with bogeys at the tenth and 18th, but then his fortunes changed.

He followed a birdie at the first with another couple at the fourth and fifth. A run of three straight pars then followed for the Swede before he wrapped up an inward nine 30 with a birdie at his last hole.

England’s Dougherty, 15th in the European Ryder Cup standings, joined Hanson on four under after a flawless round containing two birdies and an eagle.

“It’s been a long while since I’ve had a round with no bogeys,” Dougherty said. “I had plenty of them last week, that’s for sure.” He had rounds of 77 and 82 at the US PGA Championship.

“I’ve not played a good round in what feels like forever, but I played some really really great golf there.

“You’ve got to turn the corner somewhere, so hopefully this is where it starts.

“Even if I win here I’m not going to be in the team, but I believe I still have an opportunity to make the side (in the next two weeks).

“If I don’t make it, though, I won’t feel disappointed with myself. I’ve done what I can and playing is fully acceptable.”

In the chasing pack at three under, Australia’s Peter Fowler is joined by Gary Orr, Peter Baker, Paul Broadhurst, Robert Jan Derksen, Martin Erlandsson and Terry Pilkadaris.

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.