Graeme McDowell salvaged a disappointing season with a fine playoff win over Russell Knox and Jason Bohn in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won the weather-delayed OHL Classic at Mayakoba after a playoff against Scotland’s Russell Knox and Jason Bohn of the USA.
McDowell made a clutch putt on the final hole for a 66 and a four-round total of 266. But it looked as though he may come up one shot shy in his effort: Russell Knox needed just a par on the home hole to win his second tournament in a row, after he won the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Knox drove into a bunker on the 18th and was unable to reach the green from there, his chip was also short and he missed a 12-foot putt to take the title. He tapped in for bogey and tied McDowell and Jason Bohn, who had made four par-saving putts in this last five holes.
The playoff was a short-lived affair. McDowell hit a good tee shot with a 3-wood then played a sublime 5-iron that nearly went in the cup and ended just a couple of feet away. The resulting birdie was enough to secure the title for the Northern Irishman.
4 Talking points from the OHL Classic at Mayakoba
1 – The victory goes a long way to salvaging a poor year for McDowell. He elected to miss the last two events on the Race to Dubai schedule to play in Mexico and the move has clearly paid off. He admits that since the birth of his daughter last September, he’s struggled to focus on golf. He cites that as a key reason why he hasn’t posted a top-10 finish since the Dubai Desert Classic.
“It’s been a rough year for all the right reasons,” he said. “I’ve been enjoying life off the golf course with my beautiful family. Golf hasn’t been the priority it should be. But the last three or four months I got back to where I want to be.”
Graeme McDowell on hitting the 100-yard pitch:
2 – Russell Knox continued his superb run of form. After winning the WGC-HSBC Champions, he must have been tired having travelled from China to compete in Mexico. But he overcame tiredness to come incredibly close to securing two wins in a row on the PGA Tour. He’s 38-under-par for his last two weeks of competitive golf. He’s the early leader on the FedEx Cup standings and he’s into the top-30 on the Official World Golf Rankings. It’s been quite a spell for the 30-year-old from Inverness.
3 – Jason Bohn had another good week. He’s been tied 3rd in the Frys.com Open and then tied 2nd at the Shriners, another tied 2nd place this week sees him into the top-five on the FedEx Cup standings. It was his third straight top-10 finish in the OHL Classic.
4 – Young Spanish amateur Jon Rahm had an impressive week. The Arizona State senior finished in a tie for 10th place. He recovered brilliantly in the final round after opening with two consecutive double bogeys. He fired in six birdies in the remainder of his round. He’s one to look out for next year.
El Camaleon GC, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Purse: $6,200,000, par 71
1 Graeme McDowell (NIR) 67 63 70 66 266 $1,116,000
T2 Jason Bohn (USA) 70 63 65 68 266 $545,600
T2 Russell Knox (Sco) 70 65 65 66 266 $545,600
4 Derek Fathauer (USA) 65 66 66 71 268 $297,600
T5 Scott Brown (USA) 67 67 68 68 270 $235,600
T5 Harold Varner III (USA) 70 62 68 70 270 $235,600
7 Brice Garnett (USA) 67 66 69 69 271 $207,700
T8 Keegan Bradley (USA) 67 71 68 66 272 $186,000
T8 Johnson Wagner (USA) 67 67 67 71 272 $186,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage