Romain Langasque. Pic: Getty Images/ European Tour
City of Newport, Wales, Aug 23: Romain Langasque stormed to victory at the ISPS Handa Wales Open as he rallied from a five-shot deficit with a brilliant bogey free 65 and won his first European Tour title on a dramatic final day.
The win brought with it a spot on the US Open next month at Winged Foot. The conclusion of the Wales Open also saw the finalising of the Top-10 of the mini Order of Merit on the UK Swing. The top ten golfers not already exempt on that list, including Scotsman Connor Syme and runner up Sami Välimäki of Finland, have now secured their berths at Winged Foot.
Earlier in the week, the two Indians in the field, Shubhankar Sharma and Shiv Kapur missed the cut.
The Frenchman started the final day at The Celtic Manor Resort in a share of sixth, five shots behind 54-hole co-leaders Sebastian Soderberg and Connor Syme, but the deficit was cut to just one stroke after his second birdie of the day on the sixth hole.
The 2015 Amateur Champion continued to lurk one shot back after another gain on the ninth, but drew level with a fourth birdie of the day on the par five 11th hole. Successive birdies at the 15th and 16th holes saw the 25-year-old sign for a bogey-free 65 and an eight under par total as a nervous wait followed.
Bogeys on the 14th and 16th holes dashed Syme’s hopes of a maiden European Tour victory and both he and Soderberg found the water at the par five 18th, which ultimately ended the Swede’s chances at the eleventh hour.
Langasque’s victory elevated him to 31st in the 2020 Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
Langasque said, “I was playing really good since the start of the week, I was only focusing on doing my thing – that was the only objective I had on Monday with my coach. I’m so happy with the way I played the back nine, I played really, really good, I had so many birdie opportunities. The second shot on 16 and the first shot on 17 were my two best shots of the week. That shows that the work we have done the past few weeks has worked, and I’m pretty happy.”
Langasque produced six birdies to surge through a congested leader board and finish at eight under, two shots clear of Finn Sami Välimäki, who carded a 69.
English duo David Dixon and Matthew Jordan finished at five under, a shot clear of countrymen Laurie Canter and James Morrison, and Swede Sebastian Soderberg.
Langasque now enters the winner’s circle in his 78th event and could move into the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking for the second time in his career.
“Everything in golf can go so quick,” he said. “I’m really happy, this is where we all want to be. Now I’ll have some good opportunities. I need to focus again, but it’s where I’m looking forward to go.
“Playing my first U.S. Open this year, the good thing is with no public there’s less pressure on it being my first one. I’m really proud of myself.”
Canter carded a 68, Morrison recorded a 68, and Soderberg’s closing triple left him with a 74 as he surrendered his spot at Winged Foot to Harding.
Scot Syme finished with double bogey in a 75 that left him at three under alongside countryman Callum Hill, Spaniard Jorge Campillo, Malaysia’s Gavin Green, China’s Li Haotong, Australian Jason Scrivener and Englishman Callum Shinkwin.