Fleetwood back in the winner's circle again


Tommy Fleetwood's superb 2017 season continued as the Englishman held off a late charge from Peter Uihlein to win the Open de France.

The victor at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, Fleetwood also finished as runner-up in the WGC-Mexico Championship and Shenzhen International before recording his best result in a major last month, a placing of fourth at the U.S. Open.

On Sunday, he proved the class of the field at Le Golf National, a bogey-free 66 lifting him to 12 under par. Uihlein finished strongly, picking up four shots in his final eight holes to complete a 68 and get within one, but Fleetwood was not to be denied and will now lead the Race to Dubai once again.

Fleetwood, set to rise from his current world ranking of 21st, had trailed Uihlein and Alexander Bjork by a shot at the start of the final round, but quickly hit the front with birdies at the second and third.

He was desperately unfortunate not to make a hole-in-one on the second, as his tee shot spun back to the edge of the hole before somehow staying above ground.

After Uihlein had fallen back with successive bogeys on four and five, Fleetwood moved into a commanding position with further gains at the ninth, 13th and 14th.

The leader then held his nerve to par the final four holes, meaning Uihlein's fine finish was only enough for second.

Although he birdied the 11th, 13th, 14th and 17th, Uihlein missed the fairway and green on the last and could not hole a bunker shot to force a play-off.

Thorbjorn Olesen and Mike Lorenzo-Vera went round in 65 and 66 respectively to share third at eight under with Bjork, who birdied the 18th for a 71.

Both Thomas Pieters and Andy Sullivan fell off the pace on Sunday, shooting 74 to finish eight behind Fleetwood.