Frédéric Lacroix Photo credit: Tristan Jones/Alps Tour
Frédéric Lacroix made golfing history with victory in the Saint-Malo Golf Mixed Open: the first full-field mixed professional golf tournament in Europe, co-sanctioned by the Alps Tour and LET Access Series.
The Frenchman finished two strokes clear of Italian Enrico Di Nitto, with Belgium’s Manon De Roey two shots further back in third place.
It was his third Alps Tour victory of the season following wins at the Ein Bay Open and Alps de las Castillas and earned the 24-year-old Parisian automatic promotion to the European Challenge Tour.
Lacroix began the last day a stroke ahead of De Roey and the stage was set for a final round battle. De Roey started strongly with three birdies in her first five holes to tie for the lead, but she dropped a shot at the par-3 sixth hole.
Lacroix smelt blood and quickly birdied the seventh and eighth holes, building a three-stroke lead and he went out in 32 to make the turn at 21-under.
Di Nitto joined De Roey in second position with a birdie on the 12th hole and both men picked up shots on the long 15th, where De Roey played a superb chip from the long grass but took two putts to get down for a par. She then three-putted the par-4 16th.
Both Di Nitto and De Roey birdied the last hole but Lacroix, an Alps Tour rookie, was able to tap in for a final round of 67 and a comfortable winning total 72-hole total of 22-under-par after four days of glorious sunshine at Saint-Malo Golf Resort.
Lacroix said: “I just didn’t make any mistakes and that’s the key, I think, on this course. Overall there are guys who made more birdies than I did. I kept it steady and made good saves when I needed to.”
Di Nitti, who signed for a 65, said: “I made no bogeys today and I finished strong over the weekend. Frédéric was really strong today too and he didn’t miss a shot, so it was a bit tough to get him but I made him look over his shoulder.”
De Roey, who finished with a 70, could be proud of herself as the sole woman on the podium. She said: “I’m quite happy with the week and how it went. Today wasn’t as good as the last few days but I’m happy I finished in the top three. Today I didn’t make enough birdies and Frédéric played really well and solid. I did feel a little bit nervous on the first tee but besides that I wasn’t too nervous; I enjoyed it.”
The next highest placed woman in the field was Scotland’s Laura Murray, who ended in a tie for 16th, while Elia Folch from Spain finished 21st.
The Saint-Malo Golf Mixed Open will be remembered as a watershed moment for both tours, who hailed the inaugural edition as a great success.