Date: May 20, 2013
Author: Omnisport

McDowell hits back for Match Play triumph

Graeme McDowell hit back to defeat Thailand&aposs Thongchai Jaidee and win the World Match Play Championship on Sunday. The Northern Irishman found himself two down in the final after just four holes at the Thracian Cliffs course in Kavarna, Bulgaria. However, the former US Open champion birdied the seventh to cut the deficit to one at the turn before reeling off three more birdies to triumph 2 and 1. For McDowell, it represented one better than last year, when he was beaten in the final by Belgium&aposs Nicolas Colsaerts. But he was made to work all the way for his success. Jaidee held all the momentum early on and it took 33-year-old McDowell seven holes to register a win. But once he found his rhythm he never looked back, upping the pace after the turn to claim the winner&aposs cheque for 800,000 euros. Jaidee had seen off South African Thomas Aiken in the morning&aposs semi-finals and he continued his fine form in the afternoon, taking the second hole with a 25-foot putt to go ahead, having been forced to scramble for a half at the first from a bunker. The advantage was increased at the long fourth, McDowell missing a 10-foot birdie to his cost. It should have been a three-hole deficit for the world number eight when he found the rough at the par-five fifth and his shot was unplayable, but he sank his putt from 12 feet before Jaidee missed for a birdie from half that distance. From there, things began to swing in favour of the Northern Irishman – who had beaten Aiken&aposs compatriot Branden Grace in the semi-finals. He birdied the short seventh from six feet and, after four halves followed, a birdie at the 12th squared the contest. Jaidee drove into a bush at the 14th as his challenge started to fade and McDowell seized the advantage. A brilliant approach to five feet at the 15th put the title in his sights and from there he did not let up as he closed out with two pars to lift the trophy.