Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell fired a final round of 68 to win the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual at Sherwood Country Club by three shots from Keegan Bradley of the USA.
McDowell, who won this event in 2010, began the final day with a two-stroke lead and it was clear from the outset that the tournament was between the two men at the top of the leaderboard – McDowell and Bradley.
The American closed the gap to one with a birdie at the 5th hole, but he fell away again with two bogeys in a row before the turn. McDowell looked to have turned the screw, moving four clear with birdies at the 10th and 11th.
But there was a two-shot swing at the 13th when McDowell made a sloppy bogey and Bradley birdied. That made for a tense climax to the competition, though McDowell was able to do just enough to stay in front. He matched Bradley’s birdie on the 16th and made a superb up-and-down on the 17th to maintain his advantage.
It was a great win for the Northern Irishman, putting a gloss on a frustrating season in which he played in the final group in both the US and British Opens but was unable to secure a victory. This win has moved him back up to 14th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“Certainly I will draw some confidence from this one,” McDowell said. “The game hasn’t given me a huge amount this year.”
Tournament host and defending champion Tiger Woods couldn’t get it going on Sunday. He didn’t make a birdie until the 13th hole and he closed with an unspectacular 71.
“I struggled with my game a little bit this week,” said Woods.
World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual
Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, California
Nov 29 – Dec 2, purse $4,000,000, par 72
1 Graeme McDowell (NIR) 69 66 68 68 271 $1,000,000
2 Keegan Bradley (USA 69 69 67 69 274 $500,000
3 Bo Van Pelt (USA) 70 68 70 70 278 $300,000
T4 Jim Furyk (USA) 69 69 71 70 279 $201,667
T4 Rickie Fowler (USA) 73 67 70 69 279 $201,667
T4 Tiger Woods (USA) 70 69 69 71 279 $201,667
7 Webb Simpson (USA) 70 73 69 69 281 $160,000
8 Steve Stricker (USA) 73 71 68 70 282 $150,000
T9 Hunter Mahan (USA) 71 73 71 68 283 $142,500
T9 Bubba Watson (USA) 71 74 67 71 283 $142,500
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage