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Stunning comeback as McDowell tames Tiger Woods

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland celebrates his birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to force a playoff with Tiger Woods during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 5, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California.
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland celebrates his birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to force a playoff with Tiger Woods during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 5, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California.
Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, celebrates winning the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament in sudden death at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, holds up the winning trophy after winning the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament in sudden death at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Tiger Woods shakes Graeme McDowell, left, of Northern Ireland, hand after he won the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament in sudden death at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, celebrates winning the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament in sudden death at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 05: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (R) hugs countryman Rory McIlroy after McDowell defeated Tiger Woods on the first playoff hole in the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 5, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 05: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (R) and Tiger Woods shake hands on the 18th green after they finished regulation in a tie during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 5, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California. McDowell went on to win on the first playoff hole. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 05: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and caddie Ken Comboy line up a putt on the 13th hole during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 5, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California. McDowell went on to win on the first hole of a playoff with Tiger Woods. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 05: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland chips onto the green on the 11th hole during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 5, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California. McDowell went on to win on the first hole of a playoff with Tiger Woods. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland celebrates his birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to force a playoff with Tiger Woods during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 5, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California.

Graeme McDowell capped the best year of his life by pulling off the greatest comeback ever against Tiger Woods to win the Chevron World Challenge last night.



No-one has ever hauled back a four-shot lead on Woods in the final round of a tournament — but Ulsterman McDowell became the first man to do just that in a thrilling encounter at Thousand Oaks, California.

A stunned Woods looked to have ended a rollercoaster final round on a high, courtesy of an excellent approach shot to within three feet of the pin on the 18th.

But ‘G-Mac’ then holed a brilliant 20-footer to tie with Woods at 16-under-par and force a play-off.

On the first extra hole, McDowell made another stunning birdie putt from a similar distance — and this time the American superstar could not respond.

The former world number one’s 15-foot birdie effort slid by on the right — and McDowell then had another terrific victory to set alongside his US Open and Ryder Cup triumphs.

“Two amazing putts finally did the business for me today; this year just gets better and better,” said a delighted McDowell, who will be close to a million dollars richer after this latest success.

A gracious Woods said: “I thought I had it in the bag but, when you consider how well Graeme has been playing this year, I honestly wasn’t surprised to see those monster putts of his go in.”

Portrush man McDowell’s compatriot Rory McIlroy finished fourth on 11-under-par in the 18-man invitational tournament, which was hosted by the troubled Woods — who has now gone the entire year without a win.

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