Graeme McDowell said earlier in the week that if Kevin Stadler kept playing the way he was playing, no one was going to catch him. Fortunately for him, Stadler stumbled on Sunday and McDowell's steady 67 in rainy conditions was enough to wrestle the French Open trophy away from the 54-hole leader.
While Stadler certainly had an off day, it was his missed 3-footer on 18 that would have forced a playoff that will sting the most. McDowell's 8-stroke comeback marked his 10th European Tour victory, his first since last year's French Open when he beat Richard Sterne by four strokes.
Leaderboard: Graeme McDowell (-5), Thongchai Jaidee (-4), Kevin Stadler (-4), Robert Karlsson (-3), Matthew Baldwin (-2), Jamie Donaldson (-2), Michael Hoey (-1)
What it means: G-Mac's Sunday charge was the largest comeback on the European Tour this season and likely locks up his spot on the European Ryder Cup team, either by points, or now a much easier captain's pick by Paul McGinley.
Round of the day: While the rest of the field struggled with the conditions, evidenced by only seven players finishing the tournament under par, McDowell looked at ease Sunday, making five birdies and not dropping a shot until his final hole.
Best of the rest: Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti matched McDowell's 67 on Sunday, but still finished the tournament 1 over. Karlsson and Donaldson shot matching 2-under 69s to move into the mix, though neither was ever seriously in contention to win.
Biggest disappointment: By not winning this tournament after leading since Day 1 and by four after the third round, this was Stadler's dubious honor to claim. And that's exactly what he did, closing with a 5-over 76 in tough conditions. After a stretch on the front nine where he went 5 over through four holes, he fought back with three birdies on the back side before missing the 3-footer on the last that would've forced a playoff.
Quote of the Day: "That's not the way you want to win but we'll take it." - McDowell