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.