The Frenchman started the day chasing 54-hole leader Robin Sciot-Siegrist but moved ahead after a birdie on the tenth, his second of the day after his compatriot carded a four-over-par front nine at Golf Club Adamstal.
A bogey on the 14th hole brought him level with Mansell, who was playing in the final group, but he responded immediately with a birdie on the 15th and a nervous wait followed as he parred his final three holes after setting the clubhouse target of 14 under par.
“It was such a tough day, it was raining all day,” said Stalter. “I thought ‘okay, try your best on every shot, don’t get frustrated with the weather or the conditions, it’ll be tough for everyone’. My girlfriend kept me in the right mentality, I just kept hitting really good shots. Then on 13, I saw I was leading and was quite surprised. I didn’t know what happened with the group – so then I was a bit more nervous. I tried to push through and I was so happy I was able to do it.
“On 14 I hit the middle of the fairway, then I had 130 yards. I hit a solid 50 degree, I hit it exactly how I wanted but it carried the green. I think it was adrenaline. Then I didn’t get up and down. That was the boost I needed, I couldn’t hold back.
“Then on 15 it was such a great birdie. I had a tough chip in front of the green and chipped it to a foot – it was probably the best shot of the day. In that moment it really was something, being able to prove to myself that I could play aggressively and not fold under pressure.”
Mansell, playing making just his second European Tour start after debuting at last week’s Austrian Open, finished his round one over par after a bogey on the 16th hole, giving Stalter his first European Tour victory after battling teeming rain in the Austrian Alps.
The victory was even sweeter for Stalter, as he shared his success with his fiancée Flora, his caddie for the week.
“She’s helped so much and kept me in the right mentality and on track the whole week,” he added. Instead of being by myself on a day like this, it was a tremendous help. I couldn’t have done it without her.”
This is also the second time that Stalter has tasted success at Golf Club Adamstal, as he won the Austrian Amateur Championship there nine years ago.
“In 2011 I was coming back from college in the US, I didn’t have a great year but I won the Austrian Amateur, which was here, and it put me back on track,” he said. “Then the next year I had great success at college. Coming back nine years later and winning here again is very special.
“I had a Challenge Tour category and now I’m a European Tour winner, it’s been my biggest dream since I turned pro, it’s amazing.”
Sciot-Siegrist shared third place with Sweden’s Christofer Blomstrand and Germany’s Alexander Knappe, while another Frenchman, Julien Brun, shared sixth place with Garrick Higgo of South Africa and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands.
The European Tour moves to the Close House, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, next week for the Betfred British Masters, the first tournament of the six-event UK Swing.
European Tour Release, July 19, 2020