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Royal honour for golfing ace G-Mac

Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell has been made an MBE in the New Year honours, and he hailed the accolade as "truly special" .

It is just the latest in a string of proud achievements for the 31-year-old, from Portrush in County Antrim, who has had a sensational golfing year.

In June he became the first European winner of the US Open since 1970, and the first Northern Irishman to win a major since Fred Daly in 1947.

In October he sank a spectacular putt to clinch the Ryder Cup for Europe in a heart-stopping final match at Celtic Manor in Wales.

And he finished the season by taking the Chevron World Challenge title in the US - beating Tiger Woods with another stunning putt in a play-off.

Following news of his royal honour, McDowell said: "For my achievements as a professional golfer to be recognised in this way is truly special.

"Both myself and my family are very proud of this unique acknowledgement."

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