Germany’s Marcel Siem finally broke through after some recent good results to capture the French Open title in Versailles.
Despite a final hole bogey, the pony-tailed Siem won by a stroke with a final round 67 to win by a strok with an eight under par tally.
It is only the Mettmann-born Siem’s second European Tour success after capturing the 2004 Dunhill Championship in South Africa.
Italy’s Francesco Molinari (64) was in second place at seven under par and with French crowds roaring their approval for home town hero, Raphael Jacquelin (69) who snared third place at seven under par.
Jacquelin’s result is his best ever in 17 French Open showings and only his first top-10 in his national Open.
But all credit to Siem who has been knocking on victory door all season. He was fourth in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and then runner-up a week later in the Avantha Masters in India.
More recently, Siem was seventh in the BMW PGA Championship and then just missed out on making the play-off for the BMW International Open before settling for fourth.
Siem is now the second German born golfer to conquer the French Open after Martin Kaymer broke through for victory in 2009.
Siem also joins German golfing legend Bernhard Langer (1984) as a winner of Continental Europe’s longest running Open Championship.
The overnight leading duo of England’s David Howell and Dane Anders Hansen were nevere in contention with Howell shooting a 72 to eventually share fourth place while Hansen posted a horror 75 to slip back into a tie for 11th.
Siem was over the moon following his victory that also earned him a place in next fortnight’s Open Championship as being the leading qualifier among the top five finishes who were otherwise not exempt into Royal Lytham and St. Annes.
“I’m so happy as this means a lot to me,” said Siem upon receiving the trophy and a cheque for €525,000.
“First, after eight years it doesn’t matter what kind of tournament you won; it’s huge, because you’ve got the confidence again.
“Every time I’ve played consistent golf this year, and there were so many times up there, I couldn’t make it. Stupid things happened the whole time.
“It means so much to me to win after that long stretch. It’s all about winning in the end and it puts so much pressure every time you don’t win and people start talking, you will never win again and stuff like that, so it’s very important for me.
“I love this golf course. I always loved it and I love it even more or even better now. I’m super happy.”
Siem admitted he had struggled to keep his emotions in check as he entered the notoriously difficult final four holes.
“I was very nervous, I have to say, after 14 when I made the up and down out of the trap,” he added.
“The last stretch is one of the toughest stretches we have on Tour. In Cologne (at last month’s BMW International Open), I hit it in the water on seven, when in the last round I was leading.
“But I made great golf shots. I hit it close on 15, made a good shot on 16 that wouldn’t drop and even 17, hit the flag. I stayed very calm. That was very nice.
“Now I’ve got the win it’s going to make me relax a lot more now.”
Despite being pipped to the title this week, Molinari was able to reflect on a staggering final round performance.
“It’s been just an unbelievable day really,” he said.
“I had a really bad start, but two years ago when I finished second here, I doubled the first on the last day.
“From then on, it was just great golf. I had a couple of good breaks and finally a lot of putts going in the hole.
“I was in the moment, in the zone and I wasn’t really counting the birdies. The game has been feeling well all week and everything was coming out perfect.”
And of note was the effort of former U.S. Open champion, Michael Campbell who finished in a share of 11th place and his best finish in four years.