McDowell last man standing in Paris

BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2014 Alstom Open de France | Wrap | 07 Jul 2014

Graeme McDowell successfully defended a title for the first time in his career after a remarkable final day at the Alstom Open de France.

McDowell produced a stunning final round of 67 in persistent rain at Le Golf National, on the outskirts of the French capital Paris, to finish on five under par and overturn an eight shot deficit.

But the former US Open Champion was reliant on overnight leader Kevin Stadler of America missing from two feet for par on the 18th hole, which which would have forced a sudden death play-off.

Stadler’s closing round of 76 left him in a tie for second place on four under par alongside Thongchai Jaidee, who dropped five shots in the first four holes but played the remainder in four under for a 72.

Sweden’s Robert Karlsson finished fourth on three under par and, in the process, secured one of the three places available in The Open Championship. Northern Irishman Michael Hoey and Frenchman Victor Riu also booked their berths at Royal Liverpool after finishing in seventh and eighth place respectively.

“Certainly from the point of view of the chasing pack, if it was sunshine and flat calm the last couple of days, we weren’t going to catch Kevin, because he was playing great golf,” said the winner.

“Today was tough, a lot more rain and the wind switched, and it got cold. Pretty European, pretty Irish conditions. I’ve always thought of myself a decent bad weather golfer, until the last five years, I feel like I’m spending a little bit too much time in America. I’m getting a little bit soft!

“You need to be ready for all types of weather there, and you know, today I was really just trying to enjoy the challenge and give myself the opportunity. I was really happy with some of the swings I made coming down the stretch and some of the putts I made.

" I didn’t expect to win so I feel very fortunate, and very happy, to be sitting here with the trophy."

For Stadler however it was a very different story."It was tough and I drove it terrible today. If you miss the fairway, you’re going to get punished out here. That’s just the way it is. I played great for a couple of days and had tons of chances, but spent all day in the knee deep stuff today and the score showed it.

“It was so miserable on the front nine today, I was practically expecting to bogey every hole. It was virtually impossible. I just hung in there and obviously made a couple of birdies late to have a chance. It was unfortunate on the last, I played a little safe second shot and I felt good over the putt, but just whiffed it unfortunately.”

Wade Ormsby produced a good tournament to finish in a share of 11th to lead the Australians and earned €55,000 in the process.

The European Tour now moves to Aberdeen in Scotland for this week’s Scottish Open ahead of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool the following week.

Final Round Scores:
279 G McDowell (Nir) 70 69 73 67,
280 K Stadler (USA) 64 68 72 76, T Jaidee (Tha) 70 69 69 72,
281 R Karlsson (Swe) 73 69 70 69,
282 J Donaldson (Wal) 67 72 74 69, M Baldwin (Eng) 70 71 70 71,
283 M Hoey (Nir) 73 66 73 71,
284 V Riu (Fra) 68 67 73 76,
285 O Fisher (Eng) 69 71 77 68, F Zanotti (Par) 73 70 75 67,
286 W Ormsby (Aus) 70 75 69 72,
287 K Broberg (Swe) 70 74 72 71, D McGrane (Irl) 71 69 72 75, M Kaymer (Ger) 72 68 70 77, M Carlsson (Swe) 73 72 70 72, G Bourdy (Fra) 73 72 72 70, M Nixon (Eng) 71 72 70 74,
288 G Stal (Fra) 74 68 74 72, D Bobrowski (Fra) 73 70 73 72, S Kapur (Ind) 73 69 76 70, J Luiten (Ned) 73 69 73 73, S Jamieson (Sco) 69 70 74 75, B Wiesberger (Aut) 70 70 71 77, S Kjeldsen (Den) 72 73 71 72, S Gallacher (Sco) 66 73 74 75,
289 R Fisher (Eng) 72 68 77 72, M Siem (Ger) 65 72 77 75, A Sullivan (Eng) 73 71 72 73, F Molinari (Ita) 70 72 74 73, M Warren (Sco) 69 73 73 74, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 74 74 72, M Foster (Eng) 69 70 73 77, M Korhonen (Fin) 72 72 71 74, F Aguilar (Chi) 67 73 77 72,
290 D Howell (Eng) 72 72 72 74, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 70 72 77 71, E Molinari (Ita) 70 75 75 70, S Webster (Eng) 73 68 76 73, A Levy (Fra) 69 72 72 77, R Santos (Por) 71 74 72 73, E Goya (Arg) 75 66 74 75, R Kakko (Fin) 68 74 73 75,
291 J Quesne (Fra) 74 71 68 78, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 77 66 70 78,
292 D Lynn (Eng) 73 69 72 78, L Slattery (Eng) 70 73 75 74, G Maybin (Nir) 73 68 76 75,
293 J Knutzon (USA) 72 72 76 73, S Dyson (Eng) 73 71 75 74, V Dubuisson (Fra) 76 68 76 73, M Manassero (Ita) 68 73 75 77, A Hansen (Den) 71 71 73 78, M Lundberg (Swe) 75 68 74 76, A Gee (Eng) 72 72 73 76, M Ford (Eng) 70 74 70 79,
294 J Hansen (Den) 72 69 76 77, D Huizing (Ned) 72 73 74 75, R Sterne (RSA) 70 75 73 76,
295 T Linard (Fra) 72 70 73 80, P Waring (Eng) 71 73 78 73, N Colsaerts (Bel) 72 72 77 74,
297 M Kieffer (Ger) 72 73 75 77, A McArthur (Sco) 76 67 76 78, J Heath (Eng) 71 73 76 77, J Brun (am) (Fra) 73 72 75 77,
298 E De La Riva (Esp) 73 71 75 79,
299 P Sjöland (Swe) 73 71 82 73, S Hansen (Den) 74 70 78 77,
301 A Kaleka (Fra) 72 73 75 81,

Talking points:
• His tenth European Tour International Schedule victory in his 257th European Tour event.
• Moves to €931,395 in The Race to Dubai.
• Would move to just outside the top 15 Official World Golf Ranking from 20th.
• His first European Tour victory since the 2013 Alstom Open de France.
• The first time during his European Tour career he has won in consecutive European Tour seasons.
• This victory beats his previous best 2014 European Tour best performance of tied fifth in the WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship. (His previous best 2014 European Tour stroke play performance was tied sixth in the Irish Open).
• His first successful defence of a European Tour title.
• His second victory comes in his ninth appearance in the Alstom Open de France.
• Has now two victories in the event and was also fourth in 2004.
• Has now won €1,262,892 from his nine appearances in the event.
• Began the final day eight behind the 54 hole leader, Kevin Stadler. This is the largest final day comeback of the 2014 European Tour season, beating the seven of Rory McIlroy at the BMW PGA Championship.
• Began the final day eight shots behind the 54 hole leader, Kevin Stadler. This matches the largest final round deficit made up in the history of the Alstom Open de France by José Rivero in 1987 and Paul Broadhurst in 1995.
• His eight shot final round comeback is the largest on The European Tour since Rafael Cabrera-Bello, won the 2009 Austrian Golf Open.
• Becomes the 28th different player to win on The European Tour this season, from the 29 events played.
- Ends -
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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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