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Golfer to receive university honour


Golfer Graeme McDowell

Golfer Graeme McDowell

Golfer Graeme McDowell

US Open champion and Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell is to receive an honorary doctorate.

The Portrush golfer is being recognised by the University of Ulster (UU), which has a campus at nearby Coleraine, for his phenomenal year on tour.

The 31-year-old, who is already favourite to lift the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, will receive a Doctor of Science degree at a gala ceremony in the new year.

Earlier this year the university appointed fellow north coast man and renowned actor Jimmy Nesbitt as its chancellor.

Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett said it was appropriate to honour the success of local lads. "We are delighted that Graeme has accepted an honorary doctorate after what has been an amazing year for him on both sides of the Atlantic," he said.

"He has been a terrific ambassador for Northern Ireland, Irish and European golf and has fulfilled the potential that many saw in him when he won the Ulster Boys Championship in 1996 and later the Haskins Award as the top collegiate golfer in the United States in 2002.

"I know people in his home club of Rathmore, in the Borough of Coleraine, and Graeme's family are justifiably proud of his achievements - particularly at Pebble Beach where he became the first European winner of the US Open since Tony Jacklin's triumph in 1970 and only the second European winner since 1925.

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"If that wasn't enough, he also managed to win the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor and then seal the decisive matchplay win for Europe against the United States during a nailbiting climax to the Ryder Cup on the same course."

McDowell's victory at Pebble Beach saw him become the first Northern Irish major winner since Fred Daly won the Open Championship at Hoylake in 1947.

When he picks up the degree he will join fellow golf star Darren Clarke as an UU honorary doctor.

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