GERMANY’S Marcel Siem held off a spectacular final round charge by Italy’s Francesco Molinari to claim his second European Tour title at the 2012 French Open on the weekend.
Six behind overnight, Molinari double bogeyed the first but fought back with nine birdies in a stunning 64 – the best round of the week at Le Golf National.
However, it was all in vain as Siem held his nerve to close with a 67. That was enough to see him finish one clear of the Italian on eight under.
Siem, whose only previous win came at the 2004 Dunhill Championship, became the third German after Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer to have won this event.
“I’m so happy. 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.”
Home favourite Raphaël Jacquelin claimed third spot on six under, with the English trio of David Lynn, Ian Poulter and David Howell a shot further back in fourth.
The Aussie contingent had a tournament to forget with Robert Allenby and Marcus Fraser among those missing the cut
World No.3 Lee Westwood looked as if his British Open prospects were under a cloud after slipping walking to the first tee and experiencing knee and groin trouble.
The Englishman was in danger of pulling out but fought back to climb 18 places to 40th with a closing 70.
“The leg is fine – it wasn’t a problem today,” Westwood said after completing what was his final round before The Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes starting on Thursday week.2012 French Open Final Leaderboard