Magical Graeme McDowell, the defending champion has won the French Open again.
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G-Mac accomplished his first retention of a title in miserable wet and windy weather conditions at the Le Golf National in Paris, carding a final round of -4 under par 67 for a -5 under par total to lift the French Open Trophy again. He was ready to go to a play-off against the three-day leader of the tournament Kevin Stadler, who could only manage a final round of +5 over par 76. Kevin still had the opportunity to reach the play-off, but missed a two foot putt on the final green, to tie for second place at -4 under par.
Graeme spoke about the sudden win, and his earlier decision to play a lighter schedule this year;
“I’m very surprised, 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.”
“I think it’s my type of set-up. You really have to find fairways off the tee and there are big flat greens where you can hole some putts. This is a nice confidence booster and I will be back at Hoylake next Sunday ready to go.”
“It’s a good decision now, but I have to say myself and my team were starting to question it. But my body has probably never been in as good a shape at this point in the season coming into two Major Championships, the FedEx Cup play-offs and hopefully The Ryder Cup.”
“I’m very proud to defend my first title ever and this is the boost I needed on many fronts, especially The Ryder Cup”
Kevin was obviously upset that he could not go wire to wire, he was 12 under after 35 holes;
“It’s very hard to lose the same tournament twice in the same day but I managed to do it, but it’s a good week overall. It’s a little bizarre to be so far under par early and not be able to finish it off, but if you had given me second place coming over here I would have taken it in a heartbeat.”
“I played good in spurts but obviously struggled in the rain today. “I played great for a couple of days and had tons of chances and 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. 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, and just whiffed it unfortunately.”
Tied in second place at -4 under par was Thongchai Jaidee, who had a final round of +1 over par 72.