Graeme McDowell produced a stunning final round comeback to retain the Alstom Open de France on Sunday afternoon.
McDowell overturned an eight-shot deficit thanks to a brilliant closing 67 despite the wet and windy conditions at Le Golf National, although he also had plenty of help from American Kevin Stadler.
“I’m very surprised,” McDowell said after claiming his 10th European Tour title. “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.”
McDowell has deliberately played a lighter schedule this year - even missing the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth - to leave himself fresher for the second half of the season.
“It’s a good decision now, but I have to say myself and my team were starting to question it,” the former US Open champion added.
“I’m very proud to defend my first title ever and this is the boost I needed on many fronts, especially the Ryder Cup.”