Graeme McDowell fired a superb final round of 67 to beat Thongchai Jaidee and Kevin Stadler by a single stroke and defend the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National in Paris.

Graeme McDowell fired a superb final round of 67 to beat Thongchai Jaidee and Kevin Stadler by a single stroke and defend the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National in Paris.

McDowell began the final day eight shots behind Stadler but the American struggled during the last round, eventually carding a five-over-par 76.

Stadler looked to be cruising to victory after his nearest pursuers, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and France’s Victor Riu, started poorly. But things began to fall apart for Stadler when he missed a tap-in putt for par on the 4th green. He missed another short putt on the 6th then double bogeyed the 7th.

Further bogeys at the 8th, 10th and 12th looked to have ended Stadler’s chances. But he birdied the 14th and 16th and, when McDowell bogeyed the last, the 34-year-old American was given a second chance. He needed a par at the final hole to force as sudden-death playoff. He left himself a two-foot putt for a four but, incredibly, he missed.

“It’s very hard to lose the same tournament twice in the same day but I managed to do it,” Stadler said.

For McDowell, it was the first time in his career that he’s successfully defended a tournament title.

“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,” said McDowell. “I’m very proud to defend my first title ever and this is the boost I needed on many fronts, especially The Ryder Cup.”

With the win, McDowell has moved to 10th on the European points list.

Thongchai Jaidee held on to share second place with Stadler with Sweden’s Robert Karlsson alone in fourth.

Home favourite Victor Riu fell away with a 76 to end the week in eighth place.

Alstom Open de France
Le Golf National, Paris, France
Jul 3-6, purse €3,000,000, par 71

1    Graeme McDowell (NIR) 70    69    73    67    279    €500,000
T2    Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)    70    69    69    72    280    €260,565
T2    Kevin Stadler (USA)    64    68    72    76    280    €260,565
4    Robert Karlsson (Swe)    73    69    70    69    281    €150,000
T5    Matthew Baldwin (Eng)    70    71    70    71    282    €116,100
T5    Jamie Donaldson (Wal)    67    72    74    69    282    €116,100
7    Michael Hoey (NIR)    73    66    73    71    283    €90,000
8    Victor Riu (Fra)        68    67    73    76    284    €75,000
T9    Oliver Fisher (Eng)    69    71    77    68    285    €63,600
T9    Fabrizio Zanotti (Par)    73    70    75    67    285    €63,600

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage