Graeme McDowell is the first European golfer to win the US Open Golf Championship in 40 years

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.

Scott Strange wins Welsh Open

Scott Strange won his first European Tour event yesterday with an amazing 22 under at the Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

The 31-year-old from Perth Australia finished on a  total of 262, four shots clear of the inform Swedish giant, Robert Karlsson. This is certainly a result that the golf championship odds didn’t expect at the beginning of the tournament. Fair play to Strange!

But Strange & Karlsson weren’t the only golfers to breeze round the course.  There were quite a few low scoring rounds over the four rounds.

The low scoring rounds has caused some concerns as the Celtic Manor course is due to host the 2010 Ryder Cup.  Course officials and Ryder Cup organisers have stated the the course will necessarily be adjusted to be more testing.

22-under par means Scott Strange beats Ian Poulter’s record for the lowest total by four strokes.  Even more remarkable when you consider Strange had almost collapsed following a dizzy turn on the 15th hole in round 3.

Strange received a cheque for £300,000.

Darren Clarke was the the biggest name left in the Welsh Open after Padraig Harrington fialed to make the cut.  Clarke finished on five-under-par 66 to tie for fourth place.