Sweden’s Jonas Blixt wasn’t having the type of year he had envisioned — until the final round of the Greenbrier Classic came along.
He shot a 3-under 67 Sunday in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., to win the rain-delayed tournament by two strokes.
Blixt emerged from a five-player chase over the final five holes to pick up the $1.1 million winner’s check. He also shot from 139th to 39th in the FedEx Cup standings.
“This is what I play for,” Blixt said. “I play to win. It just confirms that if you do the right things, that you work hard, dreams can come true.”
Among the perks for his victory at the Old White TPC Course at the Greenbrier Resort are a spot in next year’s Masters.
Also, Blixt is likely to move up to around No. 50 in the next world ranking, which is used as the alternate list to fill the field for the British Open later this month.
He overcame a four-shot deficit at the start of the final round and finished at 13-under 267. Third-round leader Johnson Wagner (73), Australians Steven Bowditch (68) and Matt Jones (68), and Jimmy Walker (71) tied for second at 11 under.
Blixt went from a tie to a two-shot lead when he made a 9-foot birdie putt on No. 16 to move to 13 under. No other player made a birdie after that.
Blixt won the Frys.com Open last year in Northern California, but entering last week, he didn’t have a top-10 finish this season.
“It’s just been a hard year,” Blixt said. “My game has not been on.”
Former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won the French Open, 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 on the Albatross course of Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines to finish at 9-under 275. He 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.
Graeme Storm of England and Eduardo De La Riva of Spain shot 69s to share third place, five strokes off the pace.