Northern Ireland Open: Clement Sordet clinches Galgorm win

Clement Sordet lauds Northern Ireland Open after Galgorm win
Northern Ireland Open third-round leaderboard
-17 Sordet (Fra); -16 Hahn (USA); -15 Huizing (Neth), Gouveia (Por); -14 Porteous (SA), Whiteford (Sco), McCleary (Sco)
Selected others: -13 Law (Scot) Wakefield (Eng); -9 Selfridge (NI) Thornton (Ire); -8 Lawrie (Ire); -4 Shaw (NI), Casey (Ire); -3 Kearney (Ire)

Frenchman Clement Sordet fired a closing 66 to secure victory in the Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle in only his fourth professional event.

Sordet, 22, finished on 17 under par to edge out American John Hahn by a shot.

2013 winner Dutchman Daan Huizing shared third place with Portugal's Ricardo Gouveia.

Corkman Niall Turner, who shared the overnight lead, moved ahead but a double bogey at the sixth started a slide as he finished 12th after a 73.

Turner's finished five shots off the pace on 12 under while Castledawson's Chris Selfridge, not long into his professional career, shared 16th spot on nine under after a closing 70.

Winner Sordet turned professional last month after an impressive amateur career highlighted by a successful US Collegiate stint at Texas Tech University.

Last summer, he finished runner-up at the Le Vaudreuil European Challenge Tour event while he was still an amateur and has since been signed up by Chubby Chandler's International Sports Management group.

The 22-year-old, born in Charbonnieres near Grenoble, was rated 22nd in the world amateur rankings when he opted to take the plunge into the professional game last month.

Sordet, two behind Turner and other overnight leader Spaniard Emilio Cuartero Blanco, eagled the second to ignite his charge although Jamie McLeary's birdie-eagle start left him at the top of the leaderboard with the Corkman.

American John Hahn carded a final-round 66 at Galgorm Castle to finish in second place
American John Hahn carded a final-round 66 at Galgorm Castle to finish in second place

However, Turner's challenge faltered as a double bogey at the sixth dropped him back to 13 under.

By the turn, Sordet led the field on 15 under and the advantage soon became three as the Corkman failed to birdie the par-five 10th, after hitting a tree, and then bogeyed the short 12th, with McLeary also losing momentum.

Sordet's birdie at the 16th left him two ahead on 17 under and two closing pars were enough to secure his first professional title as Hahn finished one adrift after matching the Frenchman's 66.

"I honestly am living my dream," said Sordet after his victory.

"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.

"I played amazing golf, especially today, it felt like I didn't make any mistakes out there."

Sunday's fine weather helped ensure record crowd figures for the Galgorm Castle event with the 39,250 total over the tournament almost 5,000 higher than last year's previous best.

"I've never seen that many people around the greens but I tried not to notice them too much," added the champion.

"I loved it out there though, the atmosphere was unbelievable."

Third placers Huizing and Gouveia also fired closing 66s, with Scotsman McLeary falling back to a share of fifth on 14 under with his compatriot Peter Whiteford and South African Haydn Porteous.