Graeme McDowell

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Graeme McDowell
— Golfer —
Graeme McDowell 2012.jpg
McDowell in November 2012
Personal information
Full name Graeme McDowell
Nickname G-Mac
Born (1979-07-30) 30 July 1979 (age 35)
Portrush, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 168 lb (76 kg; 12.0 st)
Nationality  Northern Ireland
Residence Portrush, Northern Ireland
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Spouse Kristin Stape (2013-present)
Career
College University of Alabama at Birmingham
Turned professional 2002
Current tour(s) European Tour
PGA Tour
Professional wins 13
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 2
European Tour 10
Asian Tour 1
Other 2
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters Tournament T12: 2012
U.S. Open Won: 2010
The Open Championship T5: 2012
PGA Championship T10: 2009
Achievements and awards
Haskins Award 2002
European Tour
Golfer of the Year
2010

Graeme McDowell MBE (born 30 July 1979) is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland who plays on both the PGA Tour and European Tour. He is well known for winning the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where he ended a 40-year drought for Europeans at the tournament. McDowell has won ten events on the European Tour, and two on the PGA Tour. He has also represented Ireland at the World Cup and been a member of the European Ryder Cup team on three occasions. He has appeared in the top-10 in the Official World Golf Ranking and his best ranking position is 4th (January to March 2011).

Before turning professional, McDowell had a successful amateur career both in Ireland and in the United States.

Early life[edit]

McDowell was born in Portrush, Northern Ireland, and played with Rathmore Golf Club since he was eight or nine years old. His uncle, Uel Loughery, coached him there when he was younger. At the age of 14, McDowell played senior cup for Rathmore.[1] He studied engineering at Queen's University in Belfast, then transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he played college golf through the spring of 2002.[2] As a senior with the Blazers in 2002, McDowell won six of twelve college events and the Haskins Award, given to the outstanding collegiate golfer in the United States.[3] He was a member of the Great Britain and Ireland team which retained the Walker Cup in 2001 at Sea Island, Georgia.

Professional career[edit]

McDowell turned professional in 2002 and won that season's Volvo Scandinavian Masters, which was only his fourth start on the European Tour.[3] That win led to McDowell being given honorary life membership at the Royal Portrush Golf Club.[3] He did not win in his second season, but in 2004 he claimed the Telecom Italia Open and finished sixth on the European Tour's Order of Merit. In 2005, he divided his time between the European and U.S. PGA Tours. He was not yet a full member of the PGA Tour, but his top-50 placing in the Official World Golf Ranking insured that he received invitations to play in many events in the United States. McDowell managed two top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour, including a tie for second place at the Bay Hill Invitational, which enabled him to earn enough money to become fully exempt on the PGA Tour in 2006. He failed, however, to finish in the top-150 in the 2006 PGA Tour money list, and decided to return to the European Tour for 2007.

In 2008 he returned to the winner's enclosure by winning first the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea, and then the Barclays Scottish Open. He played in the 2008 Ryder Cup, earning 2.5 points for the European team and finished the season ranked fifth on the Order of Merit.

2010[edit]

In June 2010, McDowell won the Celtic Manor Wales Open by three shots.[4] This was his fifth European win.[5]

2010 U.S. Open win[edit]

In June 2010, McDowell won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, becoming the first Northern Irishman to accomplish the feat, and the first European U.S. Open winner since Tony Jacklin in 1970. He was also the first player from the United Kingdom to win a major championship since Paul Lawrie won The Open Championship in 1999, and the first Northern Irishman to win a major since Fred Daly won the 1947 Open Championship.[1][3][6] McDowell was only the second European to win the U.S. Open since 1925. He rose to number 13 in the world rankings, then a career high, and became the eighth European in the top 15.[7][8]

McDowell embraced his father, Kenny, on Father's Day,[5] and almost immediately called fellow golfer Rory McIlroy to joke about a possible partnership in the 2010 Ryder Cup.[9] He celebrated with a large crowd, including the golfer Pádraig Harrington, in the United States.[9] There were celebrations in his native Portrush as well when news of McDowell's win broke,[1] with "the mother of all parties" planned to get underway in the town.[10][10] The "famous win" set off "a brand new life" for McDowell, according to The Guardian '​s golf correspondent, Lawrence Donegan.[5] The Daily Telegraph '​s Mark Reason said: "The previous three tournaments in the United States have been won by Lee Westwood, Justin Rose [both English] and now McDowell. It's an unprecedented surge and America must feel like it is being invaded".[7] McDowell's manager, Conor Ridge, accepted bookings for American TV shows, such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as a cameo role in Entourage.[9] Shortly after winning the U.S. Open, McDowell joined the PGA Tour and earned a five-year exemption for winning a major.

2010 Ryder Cup win[edit]

On Monday, 4 October 2010, McDowell was charged with putting to win on the 17th green of the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.[11] His was the last match of the 12 player singles, with his opponent being Hunter Mahan, to win the tournament 14.5/13.5 for Europe, and it was his 5 foot putt that was conceded to give victory to Europe.[12]

Rest of 2010[edit]

He finished the 2010 season with another win at the Andalucía Valderrama Masters and was second behind Martin Kaymer in the 2010 Race to Dubai standings. On December 5, 2010, McDowell beat Tiger Woods in a playoff to win the 2010 Chevron World Challenge.[13] McDowell and Martin Kaymer shared the European Tour Golfer of the Year award.[14]

2011[edit]

McDowell had a solid but unspectacular season in 2011 where he did not record a win on either of the main tours. He finished third on four occasions, three on the European Tour and once on the PGA Tour. McDowell finished the year 16th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai, his year consisting of 17 out of 18 cuts made and five top-10 finishes. In May 2011, McDowell was in contention to win the PGA Tour's flagship event, The Players Championship, but shot a final round 79 to end his chances. He earned over a million dollars on the PGA Tour but could only finish the year 73rd in the FedEx Cup standings.

2012[edit]

McDowell opened up the year with a third place finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on the European Tour in January. He finished two strokes behind winner Robert Rock. In March 2012, McDowell recorded his joint best finish on the PGA Tour outside of his U.S. Open win, when he finished as runner-up, five strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This was the second time McDowell had been a runner-up on the PGA Tour. Two weeks later, McDowell had his best performance at The Masters, when he finished in a tie for 12th. He shot a final round of 68 to jump up inside the top 15.

McDowell was runner up in May 2012 at the Volvo World Match Play Championship at the Finca Cortesin Golf Club, losing the final 1 down to Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts. In a tight match, McDowell was never more than 2 down but was never in front in the match either. After the match he admitted that the better player won and that he played poorly, shooting five over for the round. Previously in the knockout stages, McDowell had beaten Richard Finch 3&2, Sergio García on the 19th hole and Rafael Cabrera-Bello 2 up.

In June 2012, the U.S. Open returned to California, when it was held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, less than 100 miles from Pebble Beach, the site of McDowell's 2010 U.S. Open victory. Again he was in contention after rounds of 69-72-68 on the first three days had positioned him at one under for the championship. He was tied for the lead going into the final day with Jim Furyk, both playing in the final group on Sunday. The second time in three years that McDowell had featured in the final group of the U.S. Open. Despite a disappointing front nine, where he found himself four over, he made several birdies on the back nine, including one on the 17th hole to trail by one shot with one hole to play. After a good drive and approach to the green, he was faced with a 25-foot putt to tie the lead and force a playoff, but narrowly missed it to the left and had to settle for a par. This led to McDowell finishing in a tie for second place with Michael Thompson, one stroke behind the champion, Webb Simpson.

The following month, at the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, McDowell was in contention on Sunday for the second consecutive major. He had shot rounds of 67-69-67 during the first three days to be at seven under par and trail leader Adam Scott by four strokes in second place with Brandt Snedeker. McDowell played in the final group on Sunday for the second consecutive major championship and third time overall, alongside Scott. He had a disappointing round of 75 (+5) and was never in contention for the championship all afternoon. His challenge was ended at the par five 11th, when he snap hooked his second shot into the trees left and had to take a penalty drop, costing him a bogey. He finished the championship in a tie for 5th with fellow European Luke Donald. It was however his best ever placing at The Open Championship. In December, he won the World Challenge, beating Keegan Bradley by three shots.

2013[edit]

McDowell started the season on the PGA Tour at the Northern Trust Open, where he shot 73-72 to miss the cut. He played the following week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and reached the quarter-finals. It was his best ever showing at the tournament, beating Pádraig Harrington 2-up, Alexander Norén in 20 holes and Shane Lowry 3&2, before losing 1-down to Jason Day in the quarter-finals. McDowell played in The Honda Classic the week after and recorded his second consecutive top-10 with a T-9 finish. The next week he played in the final group with Tiger Woods in the WGC-Cadillac Championship and finished in a T-3 position. He missed the cut in the Masters Tournament by one stroke, bogeying the last hole. The next week he played the RBC Heritage. In the final round in stormy weather, he posted a two-under-par 69. He entered a playoff with fellow U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson. Simpson bogeyed the first hole and McDowell parred to win his first regular PGA Tour event and his first tour win since 2010. The win moved him into 8th in the world rankings. In the 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship, he defeated Thongchai Jaidee, 2 & 1, to win. The win moved him to the top of the Race to Dubai and 7th in the world. He missed the cut in the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. In the 2013 U.S. Open he missed the cut; the event he had won in 2010. This was the first time that he had ever missed the cut in that event. In July 2013, he won the Alstom Open de France, shooting a final round of 67 to finish four shots ahead of Richard Sterne.[15]

Personal[edit]

McDowell comes from a mixed Catholic/Protestant family background,[16] but was himself raised a Protestant.[17] As he won the U.S. Open in 2010 he was living in a "bachelor pad" penthouse apartment in Portrush and was building a home in Lake Nona, Florida, United States.[3]

When quizzed on whether he'd represent Britain or Ireland at future Olympic events, McDowell stated: “I’m not bothered who I play for. I’ll be honoured to represent Britain or Ireland or both. I’m proud to play golf for Europe." On the subject of his nationality, he added: “Yes, I sit on the fence but why not? There’s no right or wrong answer. I’m always going to upset someone, so why not sit on the fence?”[18] He often travels and practices with Rory McIlroy and Pádraig Harrington.[3]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to golf.[19]

In January 2011 McDowell was photographed by Kevin Abosch for "The Face of Ireland" project.[20][21]

McDowell is a devoted Manchester United fan. In the buildup to the 2011 Masters Tournament he skipped the annual par-3 contest in order to watch a UEFA Champions League clash between United and Chelsea.[22]

In June 2011, McDowell received an honorary doctorate (D.Sc) from the University of Ulster for his services to golf.[23] He received his honorary degree from the University's Chancellor, the actor James Nesbitt on its Coleraine campus and in his speech to graduates, urged them to set their goals high in their careers and trust their intuition.[24]

Amateur wins (6)[edit]

  • 1996 Ulster Boys Championship
  • 1999 Irish Youths Championship
  • 2000 Irish Amateur Closed Championship, Irish Youths Championship, World Universities Championship, South of Ireland Championship

Professional wins (13)[edit]

European Tour wins (10)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other European Tour (9)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up
1 4 Aug 2002 Volvo Scandinavian Masters 64-73-66-67=270 −14 1 stroke South Africa Trevor Immelman
2 2 May 2004 Telecom Italia Open 67-65-65=197 −19 Playoff France Thomas Levet
3 16 Mar 2008 Ballantine's Championship1 68-64-66-66=264 −24 Playoff India Jeev Milkha Singh
4 13 Jul 2008 Barclays Scottish Open 67-70-66-68=271 −13 2 strokes South Africa James Kingston
5 6 Jun 2010 Celtic Manor Wales Open 72-70-64-63=269 −15 3 strokes Wales Rhys Davies
6 20 Jun 2010 U.S. Open 71-68-71-74=284 E 1 stroke France Grégory Havret
7 31 Oct 2010 Andalucía Valderrama Masters 68-67-72-74=281 −3 2 strokes Denmark Søren Kjeldsen, Northern Ireland Gareth Maybin
Republic of Ireland Damien McGrane
8 19 May 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship 2 & 1 Thailand Thongchai Jaidee
9 7 Jul 2013 Alstom Open de France 69-69-70-67=275 −9 4 strokes South Africa Richard Sterne
10 6 Jul 2014 Alstom Open de France (2) 70-69-73-67=279 −5 1 stroke Thailand Thongchai Jaidee, United States Kevin Stadler

1 Co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour

European Tour playoff record (2–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2004 Telecom Italia Open France Thomas Levet Won with par on first extra hole
2 2004 Dunhill Links Championship Scotland Stephen Gallacher Lost to birdie on first extra hole
3 2008 Ballantine's Championship India Jeev Milka Singh Won with birdie on first extra hole

PGA Tour wins (2)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (1)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner-up
1 20 Jun 2010 U.S. Open 71-68-71-74=284 E 1 stroke France Grégory Havret
2 21 Apr 2013 RBC Heritage 71-67-68-69=275 −9 Playoff United States Webb Simpson

PGA Tour playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2013 RBC Heritage United States Webb Simpson Won with par on first extra hole

Asian Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner-up
1 16 Mar 2008 Ballantine's Championship1 68-64-66-66=264 −24 Playoff India Jeev Milkha Singh

1 Co-sanctioned with the European Tour

Asian Tour playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2008 Ballantine's Championship India Jeev Milka Singh Won with birdie on first extra hole

Other wins (2)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
Runner-up
1 5 Dec 2010 Chevron World Challenge 66-69-68-69=272 −16 Playoff United States Tiger Woods
2 2 Dec 2012 World Challenge (2) 69-66-68-68=271 −17 3 strokes United States Keegan Bradley

Other playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2010 Chevron World Challenge United States Tiger Woods Won with birdie on first extra hole

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
2010 U.S. Open 3 shot deficit E (71-68-71-74=284) 1 stroke France Grégory Havret

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Masters Tournament DNP CUT DNP DNP DNP T17 CUT CUT T12 CUT CUT
U.S. Open DNP T80 T48 T30 DNP T18 1 T14 T2 CUT T28
The Open Championship CUT T11 T61 CUT T19 T34 T23 CUT T5 T58 T9
PGA Championship CUT CUT T37 DNP T15 T10 CUT CUT T11 T12 T46

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 2
U.S. Open 1 1 0 2 2 4 9 8
The Open Championship 0 0 0 1 2 5 11 8
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 1 4 10 6
Totals 1 1 0 3 5 15 37 24
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (2008 Open Championship – 2009 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (2012 U.S. Open – 2012 Open Championship)

Results in World Golf Championship events[edit]

Tournament 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Accenture Match Play Championship DNP DNP DNP R32 R64 DNP DNP
Cadillac Championship DNP DNP T43 T6 DNP DNP T48
Bridgestone Invitational T52 DNP DNP WD DNP DNP T56
Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Accenture Match Play Championship R64 R64 R16 R64 QF QF
Cadillac Championship T66 T6 T42 T13 T3 T9
Bridgestone Invitational T45 T22 T65 T24 T40 T8
HSBC Champions DNP T34 3 T42 3 T3

DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Team appearances[edit]

Amateur

  • Palmer Cup: (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 2000 (winners), 2001
  • Walker Cup (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 2001 (winners)

Professional

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Murphy, Una (22 June 2010). "Golf buddies pay tribute to McDowell". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 22 June 2010. "Graeme is a Portrush man and in terms of golf, he is Irish. He is with the Irish professional golf team – it's the same as the rugby." 
  2. ^ Donegan, Lawrence (10 July 2010). "Graeme McDowell is on a mission to prove he is no one-hit wonder". The Observer. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gallagher, Paul (22 June 2010). "Local lad is the toast of Portrush and Rathmore Golf clubs". The Irish Times (Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Graeme McDowell secures Wales Open crown". BBC Sport. 6 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  5. ^ a b c Donegan, Lawrence (21 June 2010). "Graeme McDowell has the steely calm to build on his US Open victory". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "US Open: Graeme McDowell triumphs at Pebble Beach". BBC Sport. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Reason, Mark (21 June 2010). "US Open 2010: 'Ice Man' Graeme McDowell shows his cool with victory at Pebble Beach". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Week 25 – Graeme McDowell Wins The US Open At Pebble Beach And Jumps To World Number 13
  9. ^ a b c Keogh, Brian (22 June 2010). "McDowell sets sights on Ryder Cup glory". Irish Examiner (Thomas Crosbie Holdings). Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Graeme McDowell town set for victory party". The Belfast Telegraph (Independent News & Media). 21 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Ryder Cup 2010 reaction: Graeme McDowell says pressure was 'bananas'". The Telegraph. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  12. ^ "McDowell seals dramatic win as Europe regains Ryder Cup". BBC Sport. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  13. ^ "Graeme McDowell beats Tiger Woods in Chevron play-off". BBC Sport. 5 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  14. ^ Historic Joint Award For Kaymer and McDowell
  15. ^ "Graeme McDowell earns third win of 2013 with French Open triumph". BBC Sport. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "McDowell 'sitting on fence over' nationality" The Newsletter 22 September 2012
  17. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/sports/golf/northern-irelands-mcilroy-transcends-boundaries.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  18. ^ McGinty, Karl (29 June 2010). "McDowell happy 'on the fence'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59647. p. 19. 31 December 2010.
  20. ^ McDowell quickly silences questions over new equipment
  21. ^ The Face of Ireland
  22. ^ McDowell skips par 3 tournament to watch United
  23. ^ University of Ulster To Honour High Achievers
  24. ^ Set Your Goals High, McDowell Tells Students

External links[edit]