x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

McDowell happy to be king of Scotland

The Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell shot a final-round 68 to claim the Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.

The Northern Ireland golfer Graeme McDowell lifts the Scottish Open trophy at Loch Lomond.
The Northern Ireland golfer Graeme McDowell lifts the Scottish Open trophy at Loch Lomond.

LOCH LOMOND // It was a welcome sight to see the threat of rain finally dissipate yesterday, and the sometimes curious spectacle of summer sunshine adorn the final day of the Barclays Scottish Open. It was also a welcome sight to see a player make good on his promises. The scenic and revered setting of Loch Lomond revelled in both of these sensations as some warm weather emerged to greet the victorious Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, who shot a final-round 68 to claim his second tour win of the season with a winning total of 13 under.

McDowell, who had odds of 40-1 to win the Scottish Open, claimed a handsome trophy, a £500,000 (Dh3.65m) first prize and, perhaps more importantly, he is almost certain to make his debut in the Ryder Cup in September. "I really love this place," he admitted. "The last few holes are probably one of the best finishes in European golf." McDowell spent the last Ryder Cup in Ireland working as an on-course analyst for local radio, but he will make a different type of broadcast in Valhalla as Europe bid for a fourth successive win in a competition that has become one-sided in recent times.

He had voiced a confidence in his ability to get the job done on, and was almost flawless yesterday in fending off the challenge of James Kingston, Richard Green, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Simon Khan. It was hardly surprising that McDowell won here after recent results when he finished third in last week's European Open last week, tied 13th in the French Open and tied for eighth place in the Austrian Open.

McDowell will go into the Open in fine fettle as will Ernie Els, who recovered some of his form to finish on seven under with a final-round 69. Phil Mickelson ended with a disappointing 73 to fall to two under, but the world's second best player is hopeful he can find his true form at the Open. "I'm hoping I can put it all together at the Open. I had a great week this week, even though I didn't play the way I wanted to," he said.