McDowell beats Jaidee to win World Match Play
KAVARNA, Bulgaria (AP) — Graeme McDowell won the Volvo World Match Play Championship on Sunday, beating Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee 2 and 1 in the final at Thracian Cliffs.
McDowell won a year after losing the final to Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts at Finca Cortesin in Spain. The 2010 U.S. Open champion fought back from 2 down after four holes, pulled ahead of his 43-year-old opponent on the 14th hole and secured the victory at the 17th.
"It's been a nice day and nice to receive a great trophy," McDowell said. "We have talked all week about the prestige of this event and how many great champions have won this tournament, and it's just nice to add my name to that list of legends."
McDowell, also the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage winner last month in Hilton Head, S.C., will move to top of the European Tour money list and up one place to No. 7 on the world ranking.
"I thought when Thongchai went 2 up after four holes that this wasn't the script I had read," McDowell said. "But then after winning the seventh and managing to halve nine and 10, I felt good. I felt like I was starting to get in control and I sensed Thongchai was weakening, and I just sensed an opening and I just seized that opening."
In the morning semifinals, McDowell beat South Africa's Branden Grace 3 and 2, and Thongchai defeated South Africa's Thomas Aiken 3 and 2.
"I am very happy and had a very good week," Thongchai said. "I made only one mistake in the final on the 14th hole after a poor drive. But it was a good tournament for me. My game is very solid. I came here of course to win, and to come second I am very proud and satisfied as it is a good result for me.
"I did get very tired this afternoon, but more importantly I enjoyed the tournament."