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Sweden’s Edfors posts 61 to outpace Vivendi Cup field

Swedish golfer Johan Edfors, a former British Masters Champion, sunk 10 birdies at the Vivendi Cup on Thursday, equaling the lowest round of the European Tour this season with a score of 61.

Sweden's Edfors posts 61 to outpace Vivendi Cup field

The masterful round by Edfors left Ryder Cup star Padraig Harrington seven shots off the pace.

The Swede’s round of 11 under par included 10 birdies, an eagle and just one bogey, gave him a two-shot lead over England’s David Dixon with France’s Jean-Francois Remesy and John Parry of England in a share of third place, three shots off the lead.

Harrington, playing in his final event before next week’s Ryder Cup clash with the USA, hit a 68, to be four under par.

Edfors, a former British Masters and Scottish Open champion, said he even thought a 59 might have been on the cards.

“I was ten under with five to go and I had 80 metres left on 14 in the middle of the fairway and I bogeyed that one and then I birdied 17 and 18 coming in,” said the 34-year-old.

“So felt a little bit better but had a really good chance for a 59 there, I was playing really nice.

“I really felt that I had a good chance there. I was stroking the putter really good, but unfortunately three-putted 14.”

Dixon also produced his lowest European Tour round to boost his hopes of hanging onto his tour card for next season.

“I’ve been driving it great, hitting the driver really good and putting myself right up by the greens,” said 33-year-old Dixon.

Parry admitted he had the elusive 59 on his mind at one stage.

“I birdied the first, I had a good putt, I bogeyed the second, and then I had four in a row where I really didn’t really hole any, like I was hitting it to three foot and stuff and stopping it, so it was nice,” said Parry.

“I think I got it eight under through 12, so I was looking at a good chance of 59. Then I missed a birdie putt on the par five, so that stopped the momentum – I think I parred through the par fives, which if anything to be disappointed about, that was it.”

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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.