McDowell storms to French Open win

Graeme McDowell carded a final round 67 to claim a one-shot win victory at the French Open on Sunday.

On a day that most players found it difficult to score low at a wet and windy Le Golf National, the defending champion produced a thrilling eight-shot turnaround to finish one stroke ahead of Thongchai Jaidee (72) and Kevin Stadler (76).

Overnight leader Stadler had an opportunity to force a play-off, but missed his two-foot par putt on the final hole.

Stadler started the final round with a four stroke advantage, but was pegged back after nothing 41 on the front nine.

Although the American came back into contention with two birdies later in the round, he was unable to keep up with the in-form McDowell, who clinched his 10th European title.

Sweden’s Robert Karlsson (69) was a shot further back in fourth on three-under, while Jamie Donaldson (69) and Matthew Baldwin (71) were in a tie for fifth on two-under.

The only other player to finish the 72-holes under par was McDowell’s Northern Irish countryman, who carded a 71 to finish in seventh place on one-under.

“I’m very surprised,” McDowell told the European Tour’s official website.

“Midway through my second glass of red wine last night, when I was very disappointed with my back-nine performance on Saturday, I really didn’t think I’d be a) standing here with an opportunity to be in a play-off and b) with a trophy in my hands.

“I feel very fortunate. Kevin Stadler is a great, great player. I literally gave him that putt on the last green. I didn’t expect him to miss that.

“It’s not really the way you like to win. I was ready to go for the play-off, but I’ll take it and run. I really needed this victory. It’s a special one for me. It’s pretty timely. There’s a busy summer ahead and this a really good kick-start to the summer.”