Noren marches on
Alex Noren secured his second Rolex Series title with victory over the course that will host The 2018 Ryder Cup to further enhance his European team credentials.
The Swede’s victory at Le Golf National means he leaps six places from 11th to fifth on the European Points List, increasing the gap between himself and the players on the bubble of the automatic selection places.
Victory in France marks the first triumph of the year for the 35 year old following top five finishes at the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.
RELATED: Latest Team Europe Ryder Cup Rankings
World Number Four Jon Rahm finished tied fifth in his first Rolex Series event of the year and subsequently moved above Rory McIlroy into sixth on the European Points List, while Thorbjørn Olesen slipped to seventh after missing the cut at Le Golf National.
After an opening 68 in Paris, Graeme McDowell – who has been appointed as a vice-captain by European Captain Thomas Bjørn – outlined his desire to force his way into a playing spot for the biennial contest, but a second-round 77 curtailed his hopes of challenging the top of the leaderboard.
Ryder Cup veteran and World Number 28 Ian Poulter finished in a tie for 21st after bouncing back from two over par rounds with 68-69 at the weekend to now sit 22nd on the European Points List.
The biggest mover in France was 2016 BMW PGA Champion Chris Wood, who leapt 27 places on the European Points List. The 30 year old recorded his best finish of the season after a third-round four under par 67 moved him into contention at Le Golf National, but a closing 73 meant he fell short of claiming a maiden Rolex Series title.
Across the Atlantic, Italian Francesco Molinari secured his first PGA Tour triumph at the Quicken Loans National thanks to a blistering eight under par closing 62. However, with the HNA Open de France being played at the same time, Molinari will receive no qualification points due to the weighting given towards Rolex Series events.
The second of three consecutive Rolex Series events takes place this week as the European Tour heads to Ballyliffin Golf Club for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation. Defending champion Rahm and World Number Seven Rory McIlroy will be aiming to reinforce their current place inside the automatic qualification spots, while the likes of Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Matt Fitzpatrick and Thorbjørn Olesen continue their quest for a place on Thomas Bjørn’s team.