The Belgian won his first title in over seven years after a dramatic finish in France

Colsaerts Ends Seven-Year Win Drought At French Open

Nicolas Colsearts is back in the winner’s circle for the first time since May 2012 after winning the Open de France by a single stroke.

The 36-year-old began the day with a one stroke margin and held his nerve in the latter stages despite a double-bogey at the 15th.

Colsearts was two over for the round after 12 holes but his birdie on 13 and chip-in eagle on 14 were the two holes where he won the tournament.

That got him to 14 under and one ahead of playing partner George Coetzee who had just parred the 14th, but the South African then triple-bogeyed the 15th to fall two behind.

Colsaerts was two behind Denmark’s JB Hansen who then double-bogeyed the 17th to hand him the title.

The Belgian still needed to par the tough 18th at Le Golf National to win and he did just that with a fine 3 wood off the tee and an iron to the heart of the green.

This was his 3rd European Tour title and he rises from outside of the world’s top 400 to 196th.

“It’s super special. I’ve been coming here for more than 15 years, French-speaking, I know what makes them tick. I’ve been coming here for so long and missed out a bunch of times, and to do it here, to do this like this, where at the end it was a pretty dramatic — makes it even better,” he said.

“I went through up and downs for so many years now. It’s very, very special as you can see.

“I thought it was slowly slipping away. I knew there was always going to be a chance because the last holes, anything can happen. It was a surprise to come on 17 and find out what JB had done. But like I said, when you hole the last putt like this, and you come out on top, it’s really special.

“I mean, the last four, anything can happen. There’s water everywhere. 17 is a strong par 4. You have to hit a couple of good shots to make par. We’ve seen it before and we’ll probably see it again.”

Open de France leaderboard:

1 Nicolas Colsaerts -12

2 JB Hansen -11

3 George Coetzee -10

4 Kurt Kitayama -9

5 Martin Kaymer -8

5 Gavin Moynihan -8

5 Richie Ramsay -8

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