Thornton thrilled to book French trip
County Down's Simon Thornton is celebrating after his best-ever Tour result along with securing a start in this week's French Open.
Thornton carded a one-over par 73 to share ninth place on 14-under par, four strokes behind new BMW International Open champion David Horsey of England.
Horsey emerged from five shots adrift of the lead heading into the final day to capture his maiden Race to Dubai title. He finished one stroke fewer than fellow Englishman Ross Fisher, who eagled the last for a 70 to break clear of five players who were tied on 16-under par.
Among them was Welshman Bradley Dredge who forfeited a three-stroke leading cushion to lose by two with a closing 74.
Tour rookie Thornton capped his last round by holing a two-foot putt for birdie at the fifth hole and at the very next, the 33-year-old Newcastle resident, hit a six-iron to 20 feet behind the flag and holed the eagle putt.
His big disappointment was taking a double-bogey at the par four 10th when he ‘snagged' a shot from the rough into a hazard.
“I am really happy as I gave it a pretty good shot and while I played the front nine okay, I just got a bit tired over the closing nine,” he said.
“Though I'm just delighted to secure my first top 10 and to get into next week's French Open. So I'll go to Paris and hopefully I can play the same sort of golf and maybe end a little bit better.”
Thornton collected a €42,400 prize cheque to move from 178th on the money list to 129th and just outside the top 115 who retain full membership.