A brilliant birdie at the last capped a superb final round for Guido Migliozzi as he surged through the chasing pack to win the Cazoo Open de France.
The 25-year-old Italian began the day five shots off the lead but a course record-equalling 62 saw him edge past Denmark’s Rasmus Højgaard, who had begun the day five shots ahead of his rival, for a third DP World Tour win and his first in three years.
After five successive pars Migliozzi’s round ignited with the first of nine birdies in 13 holes but he saved the best until last – one of the toughest finishing holes in golf – with an astounding faded approach from 192 yards.
His ball cleared the lake guarding the front of the green by only 15 feet but then tracked towards the hole and almost went in before finishing six feet past the pin.
The day’s first birdie at the 72nd hole took Migliozzi to 16 under, one ahead of Højgaard who still had three to play.
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) September 25, 2022
The Dane’s birdie attempt at the 17th never threatened the hole and having seen his approach roll off the back of the green at the last he chipped down to seven feet to finish one shot back.
Migliozzi, whose girlfriend Marta Cozza flew to Paris this week to surprise him, had previously won two tour titles within three months of each other after success at the 2019 Magical Kenya Open was quickly followed by the Belgian Knockout.
But having to wait three years to add to his haul made this victory all the more special.
“It was one of those days that I love to play golf. I love to battle on the golf course and today I received something back from golf. It was a beautiful day of golf,” said the Italian.
“I was trying to be more comfortable on the course and at the start of the weekend I was 13 shots back but yesterday Rasmus missed the second hole and it almost opened the door again and I just kept playing great.”
On that approach to 18 he added: “The shot was something incredible. I went for it and it paid off. My caddie was not happy: it was not the real strategy but I felt I could try.”
Højgaard’s round began in ideal fashion as a birdie at the 2nd hole was followed by a chip-in eagle at the 558-yard 3rd to open up a three-stroke lead.
However, back-to-back bogeys just before the turn halted stalled his progress and allowed the likes of Thomas Pieters and George Coetzee to make a move, with the latter sharing the lead on 13 under with nine holes to play after a couple of birdies on the front nine.
But with Migliozzi making serene progress over the back nine the pressure was turned on them and as they tried to keep pace they both came unstuck at the 14th, where Coetzee found the water twice and Pieters once as they made triple-bogey seven and double-bogey six respectively to end their hopes.
Both finished in a tie for third with Frenchman Paul Barjon on 11 under.
– Report from DP World Tour website