Golf

'Huge Relief' For Graeme McDowell As He Wins First Tournament Since 2015

'Huge Relief' For Graeme McDowell As He Wins First Tournament Since 2015

Graeme McDowell won his first tournament in three-and-a-half years on Sunday, holding off Chris Stroud to win by a shot at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.

McDowell held the lead going into the final round but found himself one behind Stroud with two holes to play. The lead swung on the 17th as Stroud bogeyed and McDowell birdied. Both would go on to bogey the 18th.

The win gives McDowell a full tour exemption until 2021.

"This is a huge relief this win, I've got to be honest, it's a huge relief," said McDowell.

"Getting my playing privileges was a huge goal this year. It's a goal I've never had before. It's one of those things that takes care of itself when you're in the top 50 in the world.

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"When you're grinding, when you're asking for invites like I've been doing this year, I felt like I had this monkey on my back that I couldn't shake off.

"I'm back feeling like I can play loose. That's when I'm playing at my best, when I'm playing loose, when I'm trying to compete every week rather than needing it badly. I've been needing it too much lately.

"This one's pretty sweet victory. This one's been coming. I've been playing well but haven't been turning my good weeks into big weeks.

"This win is going to go a long way to getting me back to where I want to be in the game. That's the mission at the minute: getting myself back into the top 100, top 50 in the world.

"I just spoke to my little boy there, he's two-and-a-half. He said, 'Daddy won.' Obviously, he's got no concept of what just happened. That is my dream, to win with my kids there."

This was the moment of victory for McDowell.

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PJ Browne
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