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Dream come true for young Frenchman

Clément Sordet sealed a sensational maiden professional victory in just his fourth start in the paid ranks at the Northern Ireland Open in Association with Sphere Global and Ulster Bank after a dramatic finale in front of bumper crowds at Galgorm Castle.

The Frenchman fired four birdies and an eagle to card a five under par final round 67, completing a perfect start to his Challenge Tour career with a one-shot win over American John Hahn.

The 22 year old trailed by two going into round four but hit the front around the turn and never wavered with a flawless back nine to earn a 17 under total and become the second French winner on the Challenge Tour this year after his clubmate at Lyon Salvagny, Sebastien Gros.

“I honestly am living my dream,” he said. “I don’t even realise just yet that I even won, it feels amazing but I think it’s going to take time to sink in – maybe tonight or tomorrow when I wake up.

the same strategy that had worked well for the first three rounds.

 “I played amazing golf, especially today, it felt like I didn’t make any mistakes out there, and it just feels amazing to win.

 “I didn’t look at the leaderboards at all so I didn’t know where I was until I came off 17, where there’s such a big board you can’t ignore it!

“I then just thought I had to keep calm and make sure I hit it in the fairway on the last hole. I’d made a huge putt on 17, I’d rolled it a long way past but holed it for par coming back.

“At that point I was leading by two and I knew someone was going to make a birdie on the last, so I just had to make my par, so I took four iron off the tee, then five iron and wedge and two putts to make it safe.”

Sordet entered the professional ranks on the back of a glittering amateur career, winning six titles on the American collegiate circuit as a student at Texas Tech University and representing Europe in last year’s Palmer Cup.

Still, the Lyon native admitted he never expected to experience such immediate success, and was surprised with how he handled himself in front of the huge Northern Irish crowds.


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