SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) — Thongchai Jaidee produced an impressive display of front-running to win the French Open by four strokes, as Rory McIlroy failed to deliver a final-round surge on Sunday.
Starting the day with a two-stroke lead over McIlroy, the 46-year-old Thongchai birdied two of his first six holes and shot a 3-under 68 to finish on 11-under 273 at Le Golf National outside Paris, where the 2018 Ryder Cup will be staged.
For his eighth victory on the European Tour, the Thai player collected $650,000 – the biggest cheque of his career. He described his fourth victory over the age of 40 as his “biggest win ever.”
“I had Rory two shots behind me but I tried to play my own game, hit a lot of fairways and greens,” said Thongchai, “and I knew this week I was putting well.”
Francesco Molinari finished in second place after shooting 66, the lowest round of the final day.
McIlroy couldn’t get near Thongchai. He bogeyed No. 3 and made…