Alstom French Open: Graeme McDowell wins by four at Le Golf National
Graeme McDowell celebrated a "special" victory after securing a four-shot win at the Alstom Open de France.
Last Updated: 08/07/13 4:46pm
McDowell kicked clear of nearest challenger Richard Sterne on the back nine of Le Golf National in Paris and is set to rise to sixth when the world rankings are updated on Monday.
The victory was McDowell's third in the last three months but his other results during that period were all missed cuts.
"It's very special after the last couple of months," said McDowell, who had suffered halfway exits in his last three events - the BMW PGA Championship, the US Open and the Irish Open.
"It's been a bit of a battle. It's been a funny year. My game has not felt far away most weeks but I have missed a lot more cuts than normal and missing cuts hurts.
"It certainly motivated me a lot the last few weeks. The US Open was a tough one to take and missing the cut in Ireland last week; it made me more hungry to want to be in positions like I was this afternoon."
McDowell took victory after holding his nerve down the tough closing stretch at Le Golf National which will host the Ryder Cup in five years' time.
"This is such a difficult course here, we may have one of the greatest Ryder Cup venues in European golf history in 2018," McDowell added.
"Anyone watching this week will get a sense for the match play drama this course is going to provide."
Luck appeared to be on McDowell's side as he pulled his tee shot on the 16th but saw the ball take a fortunate bounce away from the heavy rough and kick 90 degrees right.
That left him with a relatively simple up and down, but he needed more good fortune after pulling his par putt and the sheepish grin after it somehow found the left edge of the hole told its own story.
"I got a little lucky coming in. I didn't hit my best putt on 15 or 16 and they went in.
"I struggled on the greens all week and didn't make many putts, but only making four bogeys all week was the key."