McDowell hits back to win in France

The Bolton News: Graeme McDowell defended a tournament for the first time in his career Graeme McDowell defended a tournament for the first time in his career

Graeme McDowell produced a brilliant final round to overturn an eight-shot deficit and successfully defend a tournament for the first time in his career on Sunday.

McDowell shrugged off the miserable conditions to retain his Alstom Open de France title, carding a closing 67 at Le Golf National, the joint-lowest round on a wet and windy day.

But the former US Open champion also had plenty of help from American Kevin Stadler, who missed from two feet for par on the 18th to force a sudden death play-off.

Stadler had seen his four-shot overnight lead disappear with a front nine of 41, but had battled back well with birdies on the 14th and 16th to pull within one of McDowell, who then carded his only bogey of the day on the 18th after finding heavy rough off the tee.

That left Stadler needing two pars to force extra holes but after holding his nerve on the 17th, the world number 62 missed his second tap-in of the day to gift McDowell a 10th European Tour title.

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