Wales Open
August 23, 2020

A timely win gives young Frenchman his maiden Euro Tour title and a spot in the U.S. Open

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Warren Little

Romain Langasque closed with a bogey-free 65 and to win the Wales Open on Sunday, his first European Tour title.

He won the 2015 British Amateur at Carnoustie. A month later, he made the cut in the Open Championship at St. Andrews. And the following April he did the same in the Masters at Augusta National. Then he turned professional. Ever since, however, it is fair to say that Romain Langasque hasn’t exactly lived up to his promise.

Until now.

With a bogey-free six-under-par 65 on Sunday over the 2010 Course at Celtic Manor, Langasque came from five shots back to win the Wales Open. In claiming his maiden European Tour title, the 25-year-old Frenchman emerged from a congested leader board to finish at eight-under 276, two shots ahead of Finland’s Sami Valimaki.

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Still, it wasn’t Valimaki who had the eventual champion most worried as the final group reached the par-5 18th. Needing a birdie to tie Langasque and with a wedge in his hands, Sebastian Soderberg spun his third shot back into the water fronting the putting surface. End of tournament. That the Swede eventually made a triple-bogey 8—only one shot more than overnight leader Connor Syme—was both sad and irrelevant to the final result. But there was more torture to come. As well as a pile of cash and world ranking points, his late disaster cost Soderberg one of the 10 spots available in next month’s U.S Open through the “mini Order of Merit” that concluded in Wales.

“I was playing really good since the start of the week,” said Langasque, who made two of his six birdies in the last four holes. “I was focusing on my own thing, shot-by-shot. That was the only objective. Despite being tied for the lead as early as the turn, I didn’t really feel the pressure. I’m so satisfied with the way I played the back nine. … I had so many birdie opportunities. The second shot on 16 and the tee shot on 17 were my two best swings of the week. I did hit my 4-iron second shot on the last too close to the water. So that was not easy. But I even enjoyed the 25-minute wait for the other guys to finish. I’m very happy.”

As he should be. Given his past propensity for (relative) success in his first visits to major championships, the former Spanish Amateur champion is understandably looking forward to the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

“Everything is now happening so quickly,” he said. “I’m really happy. This is where I want to be. I have some good opportunities coming up now. I’m can’t wait to get to my first U.S. Open. There will be no public so there will be less pressure, I think. I’m proud of myself.”

Langasque will be joined at Winged Foot by Sam Horsfield, Thomas Detry, Andy Sullivan, Rasmus Hojgaard, Renato Paratore, Valimaki, Syme, Adrain Otaegui and Justin Harding.