French Open
Winner 2003 

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Christmas came early for Philip Golding yesterday and as a result Christmas may never be the same again. Golding, the journeymen's journeyman, who has paid a record 16 visits to the European Tour's qualifying school, yesterday won the French Open, his first victory in 14 years of trying.


It was his 201st event as a tour professional and in the previous 200 his best finish had been sixth, as long ago as 1996. A final-round 69, three under, at the Paris National course gave him a 15-under total of 273, to beat David Howell by one and Justin Rose and Peter O'Malley by two.


He won £290,971 which compares very nicely with the £297,523 he had won in his entire career before this year. He finished off in style with a birdie on the 72nd, his second over the greenside lake, the stroke of his life.


But the shock of his life awaited him, as it awaited two other golfers. For the first time in European Tour history dope tests were applied to three of the leaders, Golding, Howell and O'Malley, Rose being excused presumably on the grounds that he has been suffering from a virulent cough and cold all week.


Golding, from Luton and with no experience of contending in an event of this stature, played the final nine holes knowing that Rose had set a 13-under benchmark. That meant he needed to complete them in at least one and probably two under par to win, a daunting proposition even for the best.


But Golding stuck to the classic formula. "I just played one shot at a time," he said. "I wasn't afraid to look at the leaderboard. I was conscious of it. I saw that David had birdied the last, so I said to my caddie 'Four to win', which you always dream of.


"I trusted my swing, hit the fairway and then hit a six-iron 167 yards over the water. I tried not to think of my family. I knew they would be going mental every time I holed a putt and I knew I would get emotional if I thought of them. It was undoubtedly the longest weekend of my life and winning at the age of 40 is absolutely incredible.


"I know that last year, after Malcolm Mackenzie won after 509 attempts, people were saying, 'If he can win, so can I'. Well, now they'll be saying, 'If Phil Golding can win, so can I'." So the man who has never finished better than 119th on the Volvo Order of Merit can now contemplate the car of his dreams. "A Porsche," he said, "I've always wanted one of those."


The win spells an end to what had become his annual attendance at the tour qualifying school. He is exempt from all qualifying as a result of this win for two years and the man who once said that he would not know what Christmas was like without the school will now be able to afford much bigger and better celebrations.


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Phil Golding Career Best Finishes


2017

Farmfoods European Seniors Masters - 5th

Paris Legends Championship 3rd

Senior Italian Open - 14th

Travis Perkins Masters - Winner

Willow Senior Classic Golf - 29th

Winston Golf Senior Open, Vorbeck Germany - 19th

Swiss Senior Open, Bad Ragaz - Winner



2016

MCB Tour Championship - 16th

Senior Italian Open - 9th
Paris Legends Championship - 2nd

Travis Perkins Masters - 2nd

Willow Senior Classic Golf - 3rd

UK Scottish Open - 21st

Winston Golf Senior Open, Vorbeck Germany - 16th

Swiss Senior Open, Bad Ragaz - 8th

SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open - 22nd


 

2015
French Riviera Masters - Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, Tourettes, Provence - 9th

Travis Perkins Masters - Dukes Course, Woburn GC, Woburn Engalnd - 4th

Winston Golf Senior Open, Vorbeck Germany - 12th

Swiss Senior Open, Bad Ragaz - 2nd

ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship - 5th
Acorn Jersey Open - 14th 

SSE Enterprise Wales Senior Open - 21st

 

2014
MCB Tour Championship, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius - 11th
Dutch Senior Open, The International, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - 2nd 

French Riviera Masters - Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, Tourettes, Provence - 1st
Winston Golf Senior Open, Vorbeck Germany, 2nd

Russian Open Golf Championship, Moscow Country Club -7th

Bad Ragaz PGA Senior Open - Senior European Tour - 9th

ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship  - Senior European Tour - 6th

SSE Senior Scotish Open, Torrance Championship Course, St Andrews - Senior European Tour - 2nd

 

2013

MCB Tour Championship, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius - 9th
Dutch Senior Open, The International, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - 6th
English Senior Open, Rockliffe - County Durham, Engalnd - 14th
French Riviera Masters - Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, Tourettes, Provence - 4th
WINSTONgof Senior Open - WINSTONOpen Course, Vorbeck Germany - 5th
Travis Perkins plc Senior Open - Dukes Course, Woburn GC, Woburn Engalnd - 21st
SSE Senior Scotish Open, Torrance Championship Course, St Andrews - Senior European Tour - 4th

Berenberg Masters, Köln, Refrath, Germany - Senior European Tour - 10th

Bad Ragaz PGA Senior Open - Senior European Tour - 11th

Speedy Services Wales Senior Open  - Senior European Tour - 1st

ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship  - Senior European Tour - 10th

 

2012

French Riviera Masters  - Senior European Tour - 17th

Pon Senior Open - Senior European Tour - 13th

Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters - Senior European Tour - 17th

Speedy Services Wales Senior Open - Senior European Tour - 2nd

SSE Scottish Senior Open - Senior European Tour - 2nd

 

2010 -2011

Après l'Open International de Paris - 1st

Beko Classic Golf in Antalya -1st

SWALEC Wales Challenge  - Challenge Tour - 17th

SAINT-OMER OPEN  - European Tour - 17th

 

2009
Tusker Kenya Open 2009 - Challenge Tour - 2nd
ALLIANZ Eur Open de Lyon - Challenge Tour - 11th

2006-2008

The Russian Open Golf  Championship - European Tour - 12th

2004-2005

Open de Madrid  - European Tour  - 14th
Omega European Masters  - European Tour - 7th

Nissan Irish Open - European Tour - 9th

French Open - European Tour -13th

 

2003
French Open – European Tour - 1st

 

2002
Italian Open Telecom Italia - European Tour - 13th

BMW International Open - European Tour - 7th

 

2001
Padova International Open – 2nd

Challenge Tour Grand Final – 2nd

European Challenge Tour Championship – 2nd

Kenya Open – Challenge Tour – 6th

Formby Hall Challenge – 7th

Volvo Finnish Open – 9th

FIna Elf Challenge Tour – 10th

 

1999
Winner - Volcans Open, France – Challenge Tour

San Paolo Vita Open – Challenge tour – 6th

Challenge de France Bayer – Challenge Tour - 8th

Comunitat Valenciana Challenge de Espana – Challenge Tour – 9th


1997-98

San Paolo Vita Open – Challenge Tour - 12th


1996
Winner - Mauritius Open

Austrian Open – European Tour – 6th

Madeira Island Open – European Tour – 8th

BMW International Open – European Tour – 9th


1995

Austrian Open – European Tour – 8th

 

1994
Tour Espana – European Tour – 8th

Austrian Open – European Tour – 9th

Qualified for European Tour (8th place, Montpellier)

 

1993
Winner - Rolex Trophy, Switzerland – Challenge Tour

Zambia Open – Challenge Tour – 6th

Compaq Open – Challenge Tour – 10th


1992
Audio Open – Challenge Tour – 3rd

Audio Quattro Trophy – Challenge Tour – 7th

Playboy Charity Challenge – Challenge Tour – 7th

Gore-tex Fabrics Challenge – Challenge Tour 8th

Pro-2000 Challenge Dumez – Challenge Tour 8th


1991
Volvo Open di Firenze – European Tour – 7th

Kenya Open – Challenge Tour – 2nd

Zambia Open – Challenge Tour – 2nd

Laurent Perrier – Challenge Tour – 4th

 

1990
Winner - Belgium Perrier Pro-Am – Challenge Tour

Spanish Renault Open – Challenge Tour – 2nd

German Audi Open – Challenge Tour 10th

Safari Order of Merit – 4th

 

1986-93
Head Coach – South Herts G.C.

 

1984
British PGA Qualified (Coach/Trainer)

 

1982-85
Teaching/Playing Professional – Northwood G.C.

 

1980-82
Assistant Professional - Arkley Golf Club

 

1980
Turned professional

(Miscellaneous : 1985-1991 Numerous wins and runner-up positions UK)