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Golding is Golden in Paris

PARIS, France -- Philip Golding birdied the 72nd hole of the Open de France Sunday for a final-round, 3-under 69 that gave him the title by one stroke. Golding finished the tournament at 15-under-par 273.
David Howell, who also birdied the final hole, finished alone in second place at 14-under-par 274. Peter O'Malley and Justin Rose, who each fired the round of the day with 7-under 65s, shared third place at 13-under-par 275.
Golding, who won for the first time on the European Tour, matched the feat of Malcolm MacKenzie from last year. MacKenzie won this event last year after 20 years on tour without a title. Golding has been on tour since the age of 20 and has had to make 16 trips to qualifying school to retain his tour card.
Golding, the overnight leader, fell out of the lead after a bogey on the par-3 second on the Albatross Course at Le Golf National. He had to fight hard from there to get back into the lead.
Rose, who was playing well ahead of the leaders, birdied the 15th to take the lead at minus-12. Howell, playing two groups ahead of Golding, birdied the sixth hole to join Rose atop the leaderboard. Golding then rolled home a birdie putt at the sixth to create a three-way tie at 12-under.
Rose two-putted for birdie on the 18th hole to move into first place by himself at 13-under. Golding joined him there with an up-and-down birdie at the par-5 ninth.
Brian Davis, who started the day four shots off the pace, sank his fifth birdie of the day on No. 15 to forge the second three-way tie of the round.
Golding birdied the 13th to move to minus-14 and was joined there by Howell, who had just birdied Nos. 12, 13 and 14. Howell remained tied with Golding after a nice par save on 15.
The 40-year-old Englishman regained the lead with a birdie on 14. His lead increased to two shots after Howell bogeyed the 16th.
Golding fell back to 14-under after he bogeyed the 16th when he missed the green at the par-3. Howell two-putted for birdie at the par-5 closing hole to tie Golding atop the leaderboard.
On the 16th green, Golding saw a leaderboard, so he knew he had to make one birdie over the final two holes to win. He two-putted from the front fringe on 17 for par before knocking his second shot on the green at the last. He calmly two-putted for birdie and the title.
Andrew Oldcorn, Simon Wakefield and Brian Davis shared fifth place at 12-under-par 276. Bradley Dredge, Pierre Fulke, Stephen Gallacher and Barry Lane were one shot further back at minus-11.
Raphael Jacquelin was the low Frenchman. He finished at 10-under-par 278 and was tied there by Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.

Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Open de France
  • Full coverage of the Open de France