Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

McDowell eyes Wentworth success

Graeme McDowell is eyeing up more success at Wentworth this week

After winning one tournament synonymous with Wentworth, Graeme McDowell has turned his attention to improving his record in the event still held at the European Tour's headquarters.

McDowell claimed his second victory in three tournaments on Sunday, winning the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria to add to his RBC Heritage win last month. The top seed beat Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee 2&1 in a hard-fought final.

And the former US Open champion will now be hoping to maintain his superb form at the BMW PGA Championship which gets under way at Wentworth on Thursday. "We have been talking all week about how prestigious this event is. I can't say how excited I am to win it and add my name to that list of legends," McDowell said of his Match Play triumph.

"It was not quite the salubrious golf of this morning (when he was eight under in beating Branden Grace 3&2 in the semi-final). It was a little more tentative, there was a lot on the line.

"I played strongly coming in and I sensed Thongchai was a little fatigued. I really tried to feed off that and show him I was really up for it. He made his first mistake on the 14th and the 15th has been kind to me all week."

Jaidee had the consolation of £338,000 as runner-up, but could be forgiven for wondering how he failed to turn an early advantage into a decisive lead.

Birdies at the second and fourth took the former Thai paratrooper two up, but he missed from eight feet to go further ahead on the next after McDowell had scrambled a par, despite taking a penalty drop from an unplayable lie left of the green.

McDowell won the seventh with a birdie to reduce his deficit but was grateful to see Jaidee miss from six feet on the next and then holed lengthy par putts on the ninth and 10th to stay in touch.

"The par putts on the fifth, ninth and 10th were huge, they were the turning points," admitted McDowell, who pitched to two feet on the 12th for a winning birdie to get back on level terms.

Jaidee then pulled his drive into a bush on the 14th and the resulting bogey handed McDowell the lead for the first time, which he increased with a birdie from close range on the 15th.

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