Professional / Euro Tour

Thongchai Jaidee triumphs at French Open, his ‘biggest win ever’

Thongchai Jaidee, 46, became the oldest winner in 100 years of the French Open on Sunday.
Thongchai Jaidee, 46, became the oldest winner in 100 years of the French Open on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Following a Sunday triumph in Paris, Thongchai Jaidee can boast eight European Tour titles. His latest, though, was his “biggest win ever.”

Jaidee, 46, became the oldest winner of the French Open, besting 2010 winner Miguel Angel Jimenez by 58 days.

“I’m very happy to have my family here this week together and also really happy to win the tournament here,” Jaidee said. “I know the golf course is fantastic. I’ve been here many, many years and I think especially this week, it’s a special week for me to win the tournament out here.

“I think this is the biggest tournament in my life.”

The Thai, who now has four European Tour wins since turning 40, entered Sunday’s final round at Le Golf National two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy, then shot 3-under 68 to finish at 11-under 273 and win by four shots.

“I had Rory two shots behind me but I tried to play my own game, hit a lot of fairways and greens,” Jaidee said, “and I knew this week I was putting well.”

Before a bogey on the 18th hole in the final round, Jaidee had gone 39 straight holes without carding a bogey.

“Sometimes you need one perfect week,” Jaidee said. “You can’t do well every week. This week is my perfect week because I didn’t miss much. Anything I missed, I found I could lay up and make a good shot and make par and that’s it.”

Thongchai Jaidee celebrates his eighth European Tour victory, Sunday at the French Open. / Getty Images

Francesco Molinari finished in second after shooting 66, the lowest round of the day, while McIlroy closed with a 71 to end up third, five shots off the lead.

“I’ve got 10 days until the (British) Open starts,” McIlroy said. “I’m going to be working every day to try and get better and will play a bit of links golf to work on the shots I need for Troon as well.

“Even though this week it didn’t feel that good I’m obviously doing some things right.”

Brandon Stone, Alex Noren, Callum Shinkwin and Richard Sterne all qualified for the British Open after finishing in the top 12.

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