McDowell, runner-up last year to Ryder Cup team-mate Nicolas Colsaerts, took the lead for the first time in the final on the 14th hole after several vital par saves on the front nine at Thracian Cliffs.
The top seed then birdied the 15th to move two ahead and sealed a 2&1 win on the 17th – his 99th hole of the week – to claim the first prize of £675,000 and a first European Tour title since 2010 to go with his win at the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour last month.
McDowell joins an illustrious list of players to have won the trophy including Arnold Palmer, who won the first World Match Play event in 1964, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Greg Norman and Ernie Els.
"It's very special," said McDowell, who moved to the top of the Race to Dubai and should move up a place from eighth to seventh in the world rankings today.
"We have been talking all week about how prestigious this event is. I can't say how excited I am to win it and add my name to that list of legends.
"It was not quite the salubrious golf of this morning [when he was eight under in beating Branden Grace 3&2 in the semi-final]. It was a little more tentative, there was a lot on the line.
"I played strongly coming in and I sensed Thongchai was a little fatigued. I really tried to feed off that and show him I was really up for it. He made his first mistake on the 14th, and the 15th has been kind to me all week."
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