Graeme McDowell was headed back across ‘The Pond’ clearly buoyed by a closing round 67 on day four of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
McDowell snatched seven birdies in a five-under tally for a six-under total around the famed ‘Burma Road’ course in Surrey.
It was only the 10th occasion in 46 loops McDowell has broken 70, with his score also an equal-lowest round in 14 BMW PGA appearances.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton was in a class of his own capturing the Euro1m first prize cheque and a fifth Tour victory winning by four shots with a last day 67 for a 19-under par total.
“It’s unbelievable to win as it was a goal of mine in my career to win this tournament, and just amazing to be holding the trophy,” he said.
“With the Masters not too far around the corner but I am looking forward to that but first things first, as I am looking forward to celebrating tonight.”
‘GMac’ birdied three of his opening four holes and while dropping a shot at the fifth, he birdied the seventh for a third day running before proceeding to birdie the 12th and 13th holes.
A bogey followed at the 15th ahead of McDowell breaking out in a big smile in walking off the course with a birdie at the last for a third time in the event.
“The way I played that round is what’s been missing the last few months and tournaments where you can go out and play loose on the weekends, and shoot rounds like I did today,” said McDowell.
“It just gives you the belief and the confidence going forward, so making the BMW PGA cut and being there for the weekend was really important to me.
“There were a lot of positives this week. I did a lot of good things. I also found my putter this week so that was also really pleasing while my iron-play today was really good, as well.
“So, like I said as this is what has been missing some lower scores to kind of boost the confidence and it’s now the trip back home worthwhile.”
McDowell had arrived back to Europe last fortnight having missed five halfway cuts in succession, two of those majors, while also sitting out the weekend rounds for the ASI Scottish Open.
He’ll now get back to his Orlando residence in a lot happier mood.
“When you’re going out every Friday feeling like there is a gun pointed at your head, and unfortunately missing halfway cuts, brings just making a cut because that is what you start focusing on,” he said.
“If I am going out every week trying to make a cut, it’s just not where my mind needs to be so you kind of need to take care of that by making the cut and free yourself to play golf.
“It’s funny because I have been getting off to okay starts the last few months but I have just been putting myself under a lot of pressure on Friday’s.
“It’s why weekends like this week are just so important for longevity and certainly for the confidence moving forward.
“So, I enjoyed it and it’s probably the most I’ve ever enjoyed Wentworth given also the way they’ve managed to accept the changes and kind of balance them out to get the golf course just right.
“It was the first time playing the golf course at this time of the year and the greens putted just fantastic, and that is one of the reasons I felt I could not compete at Wentworth because the Spring Poa Annua greens were always tough for me to putt one but these were great surfaces to putt on.
“I now look forward to coming back here with a chance to really be in contention. There’s never a golf course I can see myself playing around and now I can potentially see myself winning around this golf course, and I’m excited about that.”
McDowell has not qualified for the next two events on the PGA Tour – this week’s CJ Cup in Las Vegas and next week’s ZoZo Championship in suburban L.A. – with both events moved this year from South Korea and Japan respectively due to continuing COVID-19 concerns.
“I am actually going to take a few weeks off though I wish I could roll this momentum into the CJ Cup and ZoZo Championship but I didn’t qualify for those”, he said.
“So, I’m planning now to just go back to Orlando and have a bit of a rest before playing Houston and Augusta and a few more after that on the other side of the Atlantic.
“I will maybe think about coming back for the DP World in Dubai at the end of the year.
“So, I’m heading back Stateside knowing that the confidence and belief I’ve gleaned from this week is huge, and I will take that into my little bit of practice in the coming three weeks and look to go to Houston feeling a lot better with what I am doing.”
As for the other Irish in the field this week, Shane Lowry, who had been in contention heading to the weekend, finished in a disappointing share of 13th place at nine-under par.
Lowry had been sharing the lead at 12-under after two rounds but played the closing two at three-over par.
Fellow Open champ, Padraig Harrington birdied his last hole in a 71 for two-under tally and a share of 40th place.
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