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McDowell suffers frustrating final round as Morikawa claims thrilling playoff victory in Ohio


Taking aim: Graeme McDowell tees off at the third hole at Muirfield Village, Ohio

Taking aim: Graeme McDowell tees off at the third hole at Muirfield Village, Ohio

Taking aim: Graeme McDowell tees off at the third hole at Muirfield Village, Ohio

Graeme McDowell couldn't find the right gear to propel himself up the leaderboard in the final round of the Workday Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio, instead having to settle for a tie of 35th place as Collin Morikawa emerged victorious.

The Rathmore man carded a level-par 72 in his final round at Muirfield Village, which was his worst round of the week, to slide down the final standings but ultimately see him record a weekend finish for the first time since the PGA Tour returned from lockdown.

Indeed, the week as a whole signals progression for G-Mac, who made his first cut in four events, however he did slip one place in the FedEx Cup standings to 95th due to his mid-table finish.

The victory instead went to Morikawa, who came from behind and held his nerve on the third play-off hole to hold off Justin Thomas and seal his second PGA Tour victory, with the result taking him into the top-15 of the world rankings.

Thomas looked to have the win sealed within the 72 holes when he eagled the par-five 15th to take a three-shot lead, but he made two bogeys in his last three holes and Morikawa birdied the 17th, which saw both players finish at 19-under-par, and it was Morikawa who triumphed in the play-off, carding a par on the 10th to prevail after two halved holes.

As for McDowell, it was a struggle early on the greens for the World No.49, who took three putts at both the 3rd and 4th to drop two early shots, but he bounced back well with a birdie at the par-five 5th and then got back to level for the day with another birdie at the par-four 9th.

An excellent approach at the 10th to three-feet yielded another birdie, only for McDowell to give it back at the 11th when he failed to make an up-and-down from just short of the green.

A wayward drive at the par-four 17th led to another bogey, but McDowell did finish strongly by rolling in a 16-foot birdie putt on the final hole to finish at level-par for the day, and he will now look to carry that momentum into next week's Memorial Tournament.

Meanwhile, defending Open champion Shane Lowry finished well on Sunday in Ohio, carding six birdies in a three-under-par 69 that saw him finish the weekend at four-under-par in a tie for 39th, which takes him to 145th in the FedEx Cup rankings.

Rory McIlroy will be back in action at next weekend's Memorial, which will also be held at Muirfield Village, while the event will also see the return to action of Tiger Woods, who hasn't featured in a competitive event since the Genesis Invitational in February.

Belfast Telegraph