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McDowell clinches Valderrama win

Graeme McDowell won by two strokes at Valderrama
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell won by two strokes at Valderrama

Europe's Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell secured a place in the world's top 10 by winning the Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Sunday.

The US Open champion had a three-over-par 74 to win by two from a chasing pack of three.

Northern Irishman Gareth Maybin, Damien McGrane of Ireland and Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen were the only other men to finish the tournament under par.

McGrane briefly led before dropping four shots in the last three holes.

McDowell's seventh career win not only made new inroads into Martin Kaymer's sizeable Race to Dubai lead but also books his place as world number 10 - becoming the sixth European in that group alongside four Americans.

He started the final round as joint leader with compatriot Maybin on six under but both lost strokes early on to open the way for McGrane, Maybin bogeying his first three holes on his way to a five-over round of 76.

Ireland's McGrane started on two under and gradually chipped away to five under to be in the lead on the 16th tee.

But, with a second tour win in his sights and heavy wind affecting all the players, he made a mess of the hole and surrendered the initiative.

McGrane sent his tee-shot into the rough on the right and then took on an overly ambitious shot that backfired before narrowly avoiding going out of bounds.

In the end he needed four shots to reach the green and two putts for a double-bogey six.

McDowell bogeyed the third and eighth before pulling a shot back on the par-four ninth.

The US Open champion dropped a further shot in taking four strokes on the 12th but a steady return of pars in the increasingly difficult conditions were enough to ease him into a two-shot lead.

The 31-year-old bogeyed the 18th but by then he was already assured of victory.

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see also
NI duo share lead at Valderrama
30 Oct 10 |  Golf
McDowell two behind at Valderrama
28 Oct 10 |  Golf
Universities to honour McDowell
27 Oct 10 |  Golf
McDowell and Clarke want NI event
25 Oct 10 |  Golf

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MYLAUNCHPAD McDowell breaks into top ten with Andalucia... - 1 hr ago
ESPN Star McDowell tastes success at Valderrama - 18 hrs ago
Golf International Magazine Graeme McDowell seals two shot win - 22 hrs ago McDowell into top ten - 26 hrs ago
Yahoo!Xtra McDowell breaks into golf's top ten (AAP) - 30 hrs ago


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