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Graeme McDowell: Mother of all reunions, and a big hug, awaits hero

The proud mother of golfing hero Graeme McDowell will today finally be able to hug her superstar son for the first time since his spectacular US Open win.

Marian McDowell (57) has not seen the 30-year-old face-to-face since he holed the winning putt in California launching him onto the world stage as one of the world’s top golfers.

Mrs McDowell managed to speak to her son the night after his amazing triumph on the phone.

But today she will be able to hug the sports star when he returns back for a short visit to his native Portrush family home.

Mrs McDowell, who has battled MS for around eight years, was unable to go to Pebble Beach to witness his historic victory or his homecoming. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph from the family home, she revealed that instead she had flown to Spain for a 10-day holiday with her sister.

“I just can’t do as many long-haul trips,” she said. “Graeme understands, as it takes four or five hours to walk round the course and I’m just not fit enough.”

But she also admitted that she actually “did not realise” how important the US Open was.

“I don’t know a lot about golf, but it was only when I was in Spain a person in the apartment block said: ‘You realise Graeme is on the leaderboard?’ she said.

“I knew he was in America playing, you just think it is another tournament and you don’t think of how important it actually was.”

Mrs McDowell didn’t see her son win on television, instead her eldest son George talked both her and her sister through the nail-biting moments on the phone.

“We were just so nervous and tense for him,” she said.

“But George just kept saying: ‘Don’t worry Mum, he’s going to win, he’s going to win’.

“I managed to go to sleep for about one hour, then I woke up and thought, had that really happened? Has Graeme really won the US Open?”

“Then it was all over the news, it was just worldwide. I never thought this could happen. We are just a wee family from Portrush.”

Mrs McDowell said when Graeme was a little boy he used to come home and swing a small club around. “I would say: ‘Darling please be careful of the lights’, but he would say to me: ‘You know mum, I’m going to be a professional golfer’.

“I would just agree, the way you play along with children at that age, but he did it, he has achieved that dream.”

And after his dream came true of winning the US Open his mum wanted to congratulate him.

“I spoke to him the next evening. I actually told him I didn’t realise he had been playing in a Major and he just said ‘oh, mum’. I just wanted to hug him.

“And I will see him on Saturday and finally get that big hug, I can’t wait.”

Belfast Telegraph

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