Graeme McDowell secured his best finish of the PGA Tour wraparound season with a confidence boosting top-15 result at the RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club.
The 39-year-old showed signs of his former self in a closing four-under-par 66 on day four in Georgia.
Having got off to a flier with birdies at 1 and 2, McDowell missed the par-3 3rd left and failed to get up and down for par. He soon steadied the ship, regaining that shot on 8 where he tapped in for birdie after stiffing a short wedge approach, to be out in 33.
Two fine approaches on 10 and 11 set up two further birdies as GMac made the turn with menace, but for a quick bogey on 12 extinguishing the spark. An up and down from the bunker for birdie on the par-5 15th proved to be his last but home in 33, McDowell finished the tournament in a share of 11th spot on 14-under-par.
McDowell wasn’t the only Irishman teeing it up at Sea Island but he proved to be the sole representative over the weekend as both Seamus Power and Padraig Harrington fell victim of the halfway cut.
The Irish duo found themselves one shot off the two-under-par qualifying mark despite Harrington coming home like a train with a 66 and Power’s steady 71 to close.
Yet in a week of hot scoring, it was Charles Howell III who played himself out from the cold and into the warm embrace of the winner’s enclosure once more after a dramatic playoff win.
After finishing alongside Patrick Rodgers at the top of the leaderboard on 19-under-par, the leading duo couldn’t be separated after the first extra hole.
It was Howell III who struck the telling blow second time around however, burying a 12-footer for birdie into the back of the cup and burying Rodgers’ chances to go with it.