Kaymer beats Westwood in Paris playoff

Paris, France (Sports Network) - Martin Kaymer defeated Lee Westwood in a playoff Sunday to win the Open de France, rolling in a lengthy par putt on the first extra hole to claim his third European Tour victory.

Kaymer closed with a three-under 68 at Le Golf National, missing several good birdie opportunities down the stretch that could have given him the win in regulation.

Instead, the 24-year-old German holed a 30-footer for par on the 18th green to win the playoff. An emerging threat in Europe, Kaymer claimed his other two victories last season.

"This is very special for me to get this trophy today," he said.

Westwood, the 36-year-old Ryder Cup star from England, was attempting to win for the 19th time on tour. He fired a six-under 65 in the final round to climb from a tie for seventh into a share of the lead with Kaymer.

But Westwood knocked his approach shot into the water in the playoff, ending his chances.

The duo finished regulation at 13-under 271, three shots in front of Ian Poulter, whose final round included a blow-up at the 15th hole when the Englishman hit into the water and then shouted at a photographer.

"What are you doing? Are you that stupid?" screamed Poulter, who shot a 67 and took third place at 10-under 274. He went on to bogey the hole.

Ugly as that incident was, it was trumped by the late struggles of third-round leader Rafa Echenique, who shot a six-over 77 and dropped into a tie for 13th place at five-under 279 -- eight shots back.

Among the Argentine's missteps Sunday were two shots hit into the water at the 15th, where he took a triple-bogey seven. Echenique also made a triple-bogey at the 18th hole.

As Echenique failed to protect the lead, Kaymer and Westwood emerged to battle for it.

They both made key birdies early on the back nine -- Kaymer when he drained a long putt at the 10th and Westwood after he nearly holed his approach at the 13th.

But they also took bad bogeys in key spots. Kaymer bogeyed the 12th moments before Westwood, after finding trouble off the tee, bogeyed the 14th when he came up well short on a chip-shot.

Westwood avoided another bogey when he holed a 10-foot par save at the 17th.

Kaymer, meanwhile, missed a 12-footer for birdie at the 16th and an eight-foot birdie putt at the 17th, both times with a chance to take sole possession of the lead.

He hit an iron off the tee at the par-four 18th, later saving par from five feet to force the playoff.

Sticking to his game plan, Kaymer again hit an iron off the No. 18 tee to start the playoff, finding the rough. Westwood, as he did in regulation, hit driver and also landed in the rough.

Barely carrying the water with his approach shot, Kaymer got lucky with a lie in the rough. From there, he chipped it to the far side of the green.

Westwood wasn't as lucky. He sent his second shot into the hazard -- it dropped in between the wooden boards and a sponsor's signage fronting the green.

After taking his one-stroke penalty, Westwood came up well short of the hole with his fourth shot. He then missed his long bogey putt, leaving Kaymer with two chances to win.

Kaymer needed only one shot, as he rolled the long par putt into the center of the cup.

Winning in such dramatic fashion had little effect on the unassuming German, who offered a quick and modest description of his final stroke.

"Four is a really good score on [18] any time," Kaymer said.

The loss earned Westwood his fifth second-place finish in the last two seasons. It all might have been different if he hadn't found the water in the playoff.

"Martin's ball carried the water by a foot and mine must have went in by a foot," said Westwood, who hasn't won since 2007. "That's the chance you take in playoffs."

07/05 12:45:17 ET

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