Graeme McDowell is the first European golfer to win the US Open Golf Championship in 40 years. He rightly said it was a “career defining” victory and one that will elevate him to a lofty world ranking.
Over the past few years the British contingent has become ever stronger with the likes of Ian Poulter, Padraig Harrington and Paul Casey leading the charge. But as critics continue to place high accolades on Northern Ireland’s Rory McIllroy, no one mentioned the name of Northern Ireland’s quiet man, Graeme McDowell.
It was because Tiger Woods was returning from another injury that for the first time in many years Woods was not favourite to win the 2010 US Open, that mantle was placed on the shoulders of Americas’ favourite golfer, Phil Mickelson.
But Mickelson never really got going, and when Graeme McDowell lost the lead to Dustin Johnson going into the fourth and final round, and Tiger Woods had helped boost his chances with a fantastic round of 66 on the third day, I was erring towards another Tiger Woods grandstand finish. But McDowell kept his nerve to win by one shot over Gregory Havret. Ernie Els was third and after a late charge by Phil Mickelson, he tied with Tiger Woods in fourth place, three shots behind McDowell.
At just 30 years old, 2010 currently belongs to Graeme McDowell as his amazing US Open Golf Championship victory at Pebble Beach follows his victory in this month’s Wales Open at Celtic Manor. Next up, the British Open at St. Andrews.