Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale Preview, Picks & Analysis
FRENCHMAN Romain Langasque shot a brilliant final-round 65 to win his first European Tour title when the Wales Open returned to the schedule for the first time in six years.
Langasque began the final day five shots off the lead but carded six birdies and no bogeys to finish eight under par, two shots ahead of Sami Valimaki, who shot a 69. David Dixon and Matthew Jordan finished a shot further back while overnight leaders Sebastian Soderberg and Connor Syme moved in the wrong direction after double bogeys on the fifth hole.
Soderberg needed to birdie the 18th to force a play-off but ran up a triple bogey eight after spinning his third shot back into the water. Syme finished in a tie for eighth after a double bogey on the last.
Langasque, who moved into the world's top 100 for the first time and secured a place at the US Open via the UK Swing Order of Merit, said: "I was playing really good since the start of the week and was only focusing on my own thing, and I'm so happy the way I played the back nine.
"I had so many birdie opportunities and the second shot on 16 and the tee shot on 17 were my two best shots of the week. It's one of the first times I didn't really feel the pressure because I was really focused on every shot and the first I felt pressure was the wedge to 18 because I was looking to have a longer shot.
"It was not easy because I was too close and the two-putt was under pressure but before that I was really cool."
Langasque holed from 30 feet on the third hole and 20 feet on the sixth to close on the leaders. A birdie on the par-five ninth saw him move into a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard, and back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th pushed him to victory as others faltered.
"In golf everything can go so quickly," he added. "I'm really, really happy, this is where we all want to be and now I will have some good opportunities and need to focus again and play my best golf."
The Wales Open was founded in 2000 and played annually until 2014, when a 15-year deal between the European Tour and Celtic Manor that included staging the 2010 Ryder Cup came to an end. The tournament returned in 2020 as part of a revamp of the European Tour's schedule in response to the impact of pandemic. The event was part of a six-week UK Swing and was again hosted at Celtic Manor.
The tournament was originally played over the Wentwood Hills Course in Newport, through 2004. While that course was being redeveloped for the Ryder Cup, the Wales Open was played for three years (2005–07) on the Roman Road Course, a par-69 venue. From 2008, the event was played on the Ryder Cup Twenty Ten Course.
ISPS Handa became the title sponsor in 2012 and the prize fund that year was £1.8 million.
In June it was announced that Cazoo would become the new title sponsor as part of a multi-year partnership with the tour which included the title sponsorship of the English Open. It was later announced that the 2021 event would be backed by Wales and Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale, a keen golfer who has a par-three hole in his back garden.
It’s about time that Matt Wallace got things back into gear. He was unlucky to miss out on a wild-card pick for the 2018 Ryder Cup team and looked like a shoo-in for Padraig Harrington’s team. He has shown some decent form on the PGA Tour but needs to get back into the winners’ circle again - and soon.
The tournament returned to the schedule for the first since 2014 last year, and was won by Romain Langasque. Previous winners include Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Joost Luiten and Alex Noren.
Matt Wallace missed the cut at the Memorial and US Open but finished third at the Texas Open and tied for sixth at the Wells Fargo. He still has Ryder Cup ambitions but needs to find his best form soon if he is to achieve that.
The Twenty Ten at Celtic Manor hosted the Ryder Cup in 2010. It is a brute, measuring almost 7,500 yards from the back tees. There are plenty of trees, thick rough and water comes into play on nine holes.
Matt Wallace. Capable of going really low
Players to Follow
Matt Wallace. Could really do with a win
John Catlin. Still hugely underrated
Sam Horsfield. Looking to rediscover last season’s brilliant form
Outsiders to Watch
Alex Fitzpatrick. Younger brother of Matthew, and a really good prospect
David Horsey. Been showing some decent form
Wade Ormsby. Gutsy Australian
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