It took over eight years, but Germany's Marcel Siem finally found his way back to the winner's circle Sunday with his victory at the Open de France.
"Every time you don't win, people start talking that you'll never win again, so it's very important to me," Siem said in a televised interview. "I've gotten a lot calmer and my technique got a lot better as well. These days you have to work so hard just to have a chance to be in the top 60 in Europe."
Siem bogeyed the last, his only dropped shot of the round, for a 4-under 67. He finished at 8-under 276 and won by a stroke over Francesco Molinari, who fired a 7-under 64 on Sunday.
France's hope rested on Raphael Jacquelin, who was tied for the lead at one point on Sunday, but he was done in by three bogeys in his last 10 holes. Jacquelin shot a 2-under 69 and took third at minus-6.
Ian Poulter was another player who shared first for a time on Sunday, but the Englishman bogeyed 17 and 18 en route to a 2-under 69. Poulter tied for fourth with third-round co-leader David Howell (72) and David Lynn (68) at 5-under par.
Siem, whose lone tour victory before Sunday came at the 2004 dunhill championship, birdied the third, but took the lead to himself with a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-4 sixth.
With several players jockeying for first, Jacquelin moved in front until Siem birdied the par-5 ninth. Siem found a bunker with his second, but blasted out to 10 feet and holed the birdie putt.
Molinari got into the clubhouse at 7-under par with a blistering 29 on the back nine, highlighted by a 12-foot birdie putt at the 18th. The Italian was tied for the lead with Siem, but another up-and-down from a bunker on a par-5, this time the 14th, gave Siem sole possession of first.
The German kicked in a 4-foot birdie putt at the 15th and was two in front. It was his tournament to lose, but some had chances late and Siem helped them out.
Henrik Stenson, who played with Siem on Sunday, was two back on the 18th, but both found trouble off the tee. Siem laid up from a bunker, but Stenson tried to make a move and landed his second on the edge of hazard. Siem knocked his third 18 feet short, but Stenson still had a chance.
His lie proved to be too much and he ran his third into another hazard. Stenson had to take a penalty drop, made a triple-bogey 7 and fell down the leaderboard.
Siem missed his par putt and got into the clubhouse at 8-under par. It was done to Jacquelin, who would have to hole his second for an eagle on the last to force a playoff.
Jacquelin didn't do it and Siem walked off with the victory.
"I'm so happy," Siem said on TV. "I was very nervous after 14. The last stretch, I think, is one of the toughest stretches we have on tour. I stayed really calm."
It's been a good year for Siem, even before the win. He had four top 10s, including a runner-up at the Avantha Masters and he led on Sunday at the BMW International Open in his native Germany, but tied for sixth.
"It means so much to me to win after that long stretch," he said. "It's all about winning in the end."
Stenson finished with a 1-under 70 and shared seventh with Brendan Steele, who carded a 2-under 69. The pair finished at 4-under 280.
NOTES: Race to Dubai leader Justin Rose shot a 2-under 69 and tied for ninth at 3-under par...Michael Campbell, the 2005 U.S. Open champion, had a good tournament with a share of 11th at minus-2...Third-round co-leader Anders Hansen struggled to a 4-over 75 and tied for 11th...World No. 3 Lee Westwood, who injured his right knee and groin slipping on his way to the first tee Saturday, shot a 1-under 70 and tied for 40th at plus-5...The European Tour moves to Scotland next week for the final tune-up before the British Open Championship, the Scottish Open, where Luke Donald captured the 2011 title.