Wattel, who had recorded 25 top-ten finishes in his previous 186 events without tasting victory, was in control for much of the final round but survived a late scare when he missed the green with his approach to the last.

He successfully got up-and-down for par and a closing 69, which gave him a 15 under total.

That was one ahead of fast-finishing Canadian Austin Connelly, with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat – Wattel’s main challenger for much of the day - finding water with his second to the 18th and dropping to 12 under with the subsequent double bogey.

Wattel’s victory was all the more remarkable as he had not finished higher than 24th previously this season and came into the week sitting at 130th on the Race to Dubai Rankings.

Aphibarnrat held a one-shot lead overnight but Wattel swiftly passed him with three birdies from close range in his first six holes.

French rookie Joël Stalter leapfrogged Wattel when he birdied the 8th and his compatriot’s par putt from eight feet lipped out. Stalter’s challenge faded with three bogies on the back nine but Wattel birdied the 10th and, although he bogied the next, a run of pars kept him in contention as others stumbled.

Aphibarnrat briefly led when he birdied the 14th, but he found water at the next and double bogied before suffering the same fate at the last as he attempted to put pressure on Wattel by reaching the green at the par-5 in two shots.

“I feel very good right now,” Wattel said. “I wasn’t feeling great at the beginning of the week to be honest because I have being playing badly this year.

“I’m not going to say that everything was perfect this week but my putting was great all week and I just tried to play as smart as I could and I am obviously delighted with the result.

Wattel gets his first piece of European Tour silverware. PHOTO: Getty Images.

“I made a great start to the final round and that really help to calm me down. I was just trying to focus on releasing my shots because sometimes I can get to tight. But today I was just focusing on the target and I did that well.

“I have been in contention before and while I had not won before I knew what I had to do; I knew what I had to expect and thankfully this time it was my week. It feels amazing to win for the first time – I am so happy right now.”

The 20 year old Connelly had six birdies in a closing 66 to finish second on 14 under, with Stalter, German Sebastian Heisele, English pair Eddie Pepperell and Lee Westwood and South Africans George Coetzee and Justin Walters all tied for third a shot further back.


Connolly was pleased with his result, which has gone a long way to helping him secure his European Tour card.

“I played exceptionally well today and made a lot of putts which is so important in a final round like today because it just takes so much pressure off of you when you are making putts,” Connolly said. “This is a huge result for me. I only had one more event that I was guaranteed to play to try and win my European Tour card but it looks like I might have done it this week. This is my first time being in this position as I am not long in the professional game – I feel very blessed to have finished the way I did.”

West Australian Jason Scrivener and Victorian Todd Sinnott were the best-placed Australians, finishing at eight under in a tie for 20th.