Thongchai Jaidee wins 100th Open de France

The 46-year-old finished four clear of Italy's Francesco Molinari

Thongchai Jaidee wins 100th Open de France
Thongchai Jaidee wins 100th Open de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee won the the 100th Open de France at Le Golf National in Paris by four strokes from Italy’s Francesco Molinari with Rory McIlroy third.

46-year-old Thongchai Jaidee became the oldest player to win the Open de France, claiming his eighth European Tour title with an excellent final round of 68. Jaidee completed 39 straight holes without a bogey at Le Golf National before an unimportant dropped shot at his 72nd hole.

The Thai player took a two-shot lead into the final round and he extended that advantage to five on three occasions during round four. He eventually finished four ahead of the pack.

"Sometimes you need one perfect week. You can't do well every week,” he said. “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.”

Although Francesco Molinari made a charge on the front nine with four birdies from the 3rd hole, Jaidee kept his nose in front with birdies of his own on the 3rd and 6th. The Italian finished second, four shots behind.

Martin Kaymer and Andy Sullivan looked to mount a charge on the back nine but both faded on the run for home.

Rory McIlroy couldn’t get anything going on the final day. He carded a level-par 71 to end the week alone in third.

4 Talking points from the 100th Open de France

1 – This victory has pushed Thongchai Jaidee into the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking. Aged 46 years and 238 days, he is the 13th oldest winner in European Tour history and the oldest ever to win the Open de France. This was his fourth European Tour title since turning 40.

2 – Rory McIlroy was unable to make a move on Sunday at Le Golf National. His final round contained 16 pars, a birdie and a bogey. After the tournament, he was quick to turn his attention to The Open Championship. “I've got ten days until the Open starts. I'm going to be working every day to try to get better and play a bit of links golf and work on the shots that I'll need for Troon,” he said.

Rory McIlroy on becoming a champion:

3 – Italy’s Francesco Molinari produced an excellent final round of 66 to claim solo second place. He started fast with four birdies in a row from the 3rd but fell back somewhat with dropped shots at the 9th and 10th. He ended the week four back of Jaidee. “Obviously it was a great start. I was just trying to keep it going, to hit good shots. Unfortunately, I hit two really bad ones on nine and ten off the tee… I always seem to fall a bit short here. I'm glad with today. I think yesterday, I got it to five under after 11 and then made three soft bogeys coming in without hitting really bad shots. The game is moving in the right direction.”

4 – There were four places in The Open Championship up for grabs in Paris. They went to South Africans Brandon Stone and Richard Sterne, Alex Noren of Sweden and England’s Callum Shinkwin.

100th Open de France Le Golf National, Paris, France June 30 – Jul 3 Purse €3,500,000, par 71

1    Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)    67    70    68    68    273    €583,330 2    Francesco Molinari (Ita) 68    71    72    66    277    €388,880 3    Rory McIlroy (NIR)    71    66    70    71    278    €219,100 4    Rafa Cabrera Bello (Esp) 73    69    70    67    279    €175,000 T5    Martin Kaymer (Ger)    74    68    68    70    280    €125,300 T5    Brandon Stone (RSA)    69    68    73    70    280    €125,300 T5    Andy Sullivan (Eng)    69    70    71    70    280    €125,300 8    Alex Noren (Swe)        72    68    70    71    281    €87,500 T9    Joost Luiten (Ned)    69    70    71    72    282    €74,200 T9    Callum Shinkwin (Eng)    71    72    71    68    282    €74,200

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?