Home > Sport > Golf
Monday July 7, 2014 MYT 12:42:41 AM
Monday July 7, 2014 MYT 12:43:33 AM
PARIS (Reuters) - Graeme McDowell came from eight shots back to retain his French Open title by one shot from Kevin Stadler on Sunday after the American missed a two-foot putt on the final hole.
Northern Ireland's McDowell fired a final-round 67 to finish on five under par and overnight leader Stadler needed a par at the last to force a playoff in wet and windy conditions at Le Golf National.
He narrowly failed with a birdie putt from 25 feet which would have sealed victory and inexplicably missed his next effort to card a final-round 76 and hand McDowell his 10th European Tour victory.
"I'm very surprised," McDowell told the European Tour 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 playoff 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 playoff, 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,"Former U.S. Open champion McDowell, who made five birdies and a solitary bogey on the last hole, trailed Stadler by eight shots after the third round and his win should guarantee him a place in this year's European Ryder Cup team.
It was the biggest comeback victory on the European Tour since Rafael Cabrera-Bello's win in the 2009 Austrian Open.
Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee finished tied with Stadler for second place and Sweden's Robert Karlsson was a shot further back in fourth.
(Reporting by Ed Osmond, editing by Justin Palmer)
Stadler hails Ryder venue after grabbing French Open lead
French Open win eases McDowell's Ryder Cup anxieties
Stadler holds firm at top of French Open leaderboard
McDowell and Sterne lead way at French Open
Jacquelin banking on home support to win French Open
Englishman Willett secures Masters berth via world ranking
Danny regains No.1 golf ranking
Arjun returns to winner’s circle in Dubai Open
Thai golf star Thongchai will feature in Malaysian Open
Scott hires new caddie for 2015
Former world number two Steve Stricker has back surgery
Smart snowboard changes your tunes
Royal Caribbean Cruise is a real pleasure
Looking beyond race
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)