Sherwood win adds gloss to McDowell's happy state

Sun Dec 2, 2012 9:37pm EST
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

THOUSAND OAKS, California (Reuters) - After two years of golfing frustration and an absence from the winner's circle despite several close calls, life has got much better for Graeme McDowell in recent weeks, both on and off the course.

The ever-popular Northern Irishman announced his engagement to Kristin Stape last month in Dubai and on Sunday he triumphed by three shots in the World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods.

For the next 10 weeks, he will enjoy a well-earned break with his wife-to-be in their new home in Orlando while he completes the finishing touches to his own tavern outside the gates of Lake Nona, which he plans to open by late January.

"It's been a very fun week," McDowell told reporters after holding off playing partner Keegan Bradley with a closing four-under-par 68 at a rain-soaked Sherwood Country Club.

"For two years I've been saying things like 'processes' and 'trying to get better' and 'be patient' and hopefully the wins will come. I guess I got fed up with telling everybody that I'm playing well, playing well.

"I'm relieved to get across the line and take some nice confidence into this little off-period I've got coming up. It really is about the processes, but we need to win. That's why we're out here."

California has been a happy hunting ground for McDowell who has twice won the World Challenge at Sherwood and clinched his first major title in the 2010 U.S. Open held at Pebble Beach.

VICTORY FOR FIANCEE   Continued...

 
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland poses with his trophy after winning the World Challenge golf tournament in Thousand Oaks, California, December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok