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)
Nicholas set to play again in CIMB Classic
Kirk aims to make major splash on 2014-15 PGA Tour
Inspired Stenson and Larrazabal light up London Club
Faldo has lost respect of European players, says Poulter
Cink, Laird tied for first round lead in Las Vegas
Joost magic! Luiten makes it 27 birdies in a week
Turkey's U.S. relations show strain as Washington's patience wears thin
Samsung joins fight against Ebola
Travellers claim no Ebola screening
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)