GRAEME MCDOWELL has come from behind to beat Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee 2 and 1 and win the Volvo World Match Play Championship on a very spectacular golf course in Bulgaria.
Last year’s runner-up got off to a slow start and found himself two down after four to the resilient Jaidee and took seven holes to register his first winning hole.
Still one down at the turn, a run of three wins in four holes from the 12th gave the Northern Irishman the €800,000 winner’s cheque and one of the most prestigious titles on The European Tour.
“Obviously a nice day and a great trophy,” said McDowell. “I talked about it all week about the prestige of this event and how many great champions, and nice to add my name to that list of legends.”
“…. Els, Montgomerie, Westwood, Ballesteros, Norman, Lyle, Faldo, Player, Palmer, it’s just crazy stuff really. To thrust yourself into that – to have your name on a trophy this cool is pretty special.”
McDowell commented on the “brave” move by the tour in bringing the event to Bulgaria for the first time, but like everyone was more than impressed by the venue.
The Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort course is just two years old but perched on a slim shelf of land on cliffs high above the (beautifully blue) Black Sea the Gary Player design had everybody talking.
The win catapulted McDowell over Australia’s Brett Rumford into top spot on the tour’s season long Race to Dubai.
Rumford, who was shooting for his third straight tour win, came back to earth with a 4 & 3 loss to Brandon Grace in the Round of 16.
Australia’s only other competitor in the event, Geoff Ogilvy, really can’t seem to take a trick scoring-wise, and was knocked out in the first round.