McDowell holds nerve to win first tournament in 16 months

The Northern Irishman played a perfect sudden-death play-off hole to see off the challenge of Russell Knox and Jason Bohn.

Image: Nigel French

GRAEME McDOWELL’S BARREN run came to an end this afternoon after a dramatic victory in the OHL Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

It was the Northern Irishman’s first PGA Tour victory since April 2013 and his first overall win since the French Open in July 2014.

Knox had a chance to win the tournament on the 18th but he missed a 12-foot putt for par to set up a sudden-death play-off with McDowell and American Jason Bohn.

And McDowell made no mistake, winning the tournament with a birdie. In fact, he almost holed his approach shot before it ran about three feet beyond the hole.

Knox failed to find the green in two after the best drive of the three and his chip from just off the green never threatened the hole. While Bohn had a putt for birdie but it went agonisingly wide of the cup.

McDowell admitted it was a major relief to get the win after a difficult year.

Sunday’s play was abandoned due to bad light following a lengthy rain delay earlier in the day. So McDowell and Knox resumed today tied on 19-under-par. It looked like McDowell’s bogey on 16 would cost him the tournament but the Scotsman’s miss on 18 gave him, and Bohn, a lifeline.

Bohn started his day with a birdie and registered pars the rest of the way as he completed his final round in five-under-par 66, a score matched by McDowell. It was a remarkable effort by the American who was two shots behind the leading pair going into today’s resumption.

Source: Nigel French

Knox was attempting to win back-to-back titles following his triumph at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

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Alan Waldron

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