Nacho Elvira, at the end of the suspense. Romain Langasque second!

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Leader with four strokes in advance at the start of the 4th round of the Soudal Open, Nacho Elvira trembled all the way to the 18th green before winning with a score of -18 (266) and a card of 71 (par) which was ultimately sufficient . He is just a short length ahead of the Belgian Thomas Pieters, the Dane Niklas Norgaard and the Frenchman Romain Langasque. Also solid this Sunday in Antwerp despite the rain, Mike Lorenzo-Vera holds 10th place at -14 (270).

L.V.

We sensed it, we guessed it, this last turn of the Soudal Open 2024 was going to be anything but quiet for Nacho Elvira. And this despite his four strokes lead by placing his ball on the tee from 1 at 10:00 a.m. precisely. Certainly, the Spaniard got his Sunday off to a good start by scoring a birdie at the start of this route. Rinkven International Golf Club. But what followed was much more chaotic and uncertain for the Madrilenian.

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His lead, disrupted by the rain (play was stopped for 30 minutes, the course no longer being able to absorb, particularly on certain greens, the water falling in profusion), was slowly but surely reduced after a bogey at 7 and the combined attacks of several competitors eager for success. This was particularly the case for the English Joe Dean who, at the turn of this par 71, came back within one stroke of Elvira thanks to three close birdies (between holes 5 and 9). Two successive bogeys at 10 then at 11 nevertheless removed him from the race for victory.

But others took over, always putting pressure on a leader who was most often down on his throws, guilty of a second bogey on the 10 fortunately quickly erased on the par 4 of the 11 with a saving birdie.

Starting six shots behind at the start of this 4th round, Thomas Pieters, supported by a crowd totally committed to his cause, then came to the forefront despite, too, some approximations in his long game. The Fleming, who joined LIV Golf in February 2023, even found himself in a play-off position on the 18th green before signing a solid 66 (-5) which then gave him, alone, second place at – 17 (267).

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Long powerless putter in hands, the Dane Niklas Norgaard also invited himself to the party with this eagle that came out of nowhere at the 17th, giving him a chance to experience an extra bit of suspense in sudden death, provided however that he slams a birdie on the 18th. Something he is not not managed to do. 68 (-3) and he also second at -17.

Second top 5 in four starts for Langasque

A final score that had just posted a few minutes before Romain Langasque on alternating current, a bit like his day on Saturday where he started very well and finished very well with, in the middle, more delicate passages. Two birdies at holes 3 and 6, a bogey at 7, nothing afterwards despite missed opportunities, and two final birdies at 17 and 18. This tied second place nevertheless confirms that the Riviera is currently in good shape, a few weeks after having finished fifth in India on March 31 and got close to the summits in China before being slowed down by a recalcitrant back. A good omen for the future.

It was therefore enough for Nacho Elvira, 37 years old, very close to ending his day with a birdie at the 18th, to play in par (71) to win a second title on the European Tour, three years after the Cazoo Open 2021 At Celtic Manor (Wales). A close victory but which proves that the worthy successor of Jose Maria Olazabal and of Miguel Angel Jimenez, also conquerors across Quiévrain in the recent past, have character. Here he is now in the top 10 of the Race (9th) with one of the ten spots promised at the end of the season on the PGA Tour 2025.

Besides Romain Langasque, the French clan stood out this Sunday in Flanders with an excellent tenth place for Mike Lorenzo Veraa time in the game for the win before conceding a crippling double-bogey on the par 4 of the 13th. It is in any case the best result in 2024 on the European Tour for the Basque who leaves one stroke behind him Adrien Saddierauthor of a superb 67 (-4) and a very encouraging 13th place at -13 (271).

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The leaderboard of other French people

Photo: Getty Images

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