SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) — Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won the French Open on Sunday, shooting a 4-under 67 in the final round to capture his ninth European Tour title by four strokes.
McDowell had five birdies and a bogey to finish 9-under 275. The Northern Irishman won the World Match-Play Championship in May, but missed the cut in his three following tournaments.
Richard Sterne of South Africa (71) was second. He made three birdies on the front nine before faltering on the back nine with three bogeys.
Graeme Storm of England, the 2007 winner, and Eduardo De La Riva of Spain shot 69s to share third place, five strokes off the pace.
McDowell and Sterne entered the final round with a share of the lead and both broke away from the field by making two birdies for a three-shot advantage after five holes.
Sterne initially got the upper hand when McDowell missed a short par putt on No. 7.
But McDowell picked up a shot on No. 10 to draw level with Sterne. He then took sole possession of the lead when the South African sent his tee shot into the thick rough to bogey No. 12.
McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, smiled when he sank a short par putt on No. 16 to increase his lead to two strokes. Sterne's chip from the edge of the green sailed 15 feet past the flag in what was a bogey.
McDowell rode the momentum with a birdie on No. 17 while Sterne missed a four-foot par putt.
After clearing the water hazard on the last, McDowell waved to the crowd on his way to the green with victory just about secured.