Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

G-Mac back on top after Heritage playoff triumph

April 22, 2013 -- Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell wins Heritage after playoff
  • He beats reigning U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson at first extra hole
  • Pair had finished on nine under 275 in regulation play
  • First regular tour win in America for 2010 U.S. Open champion McDowell

(CNN) -- Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell underlined his reputation of being a golfer who relishes tough links style conditions as he beat reigning U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson at the first hole of a sudden death playoff Sunday to win the Heritage tournament in South Carolina.

McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open winner at the iconic Pebble Beach course, his first and only major to date, used these skills to come out on top again at a windswept Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head Island.

"It's a very major-esque golf course," he told the official PGA Tour website.

"It's got a huge amount to do with the way the golf course sets up, discipline, patience, all these words that are required to play well around here."

Golf win 'more important than world peace'
Actor Adam Scott hates the golfer
Europe's historic Ryder Cup comeback

The Ryder Cup star came from four off the pace to card a two-under 69 in the final round, defying gusts of up to 45mph (72kph), which blew many of his rivals out of contention.

His only mistake came on the testing closing hole as a bogey five left him on nine-under 275.

Simpson joined him on that mark after a level par 71, missing a 22-footer on the last for outright victory.

England's Luke Donald matched his Ryder Cup colleague McDowell with a 69 -- only three men shot under 70 on the final day -- to share third place with Kevin Streelman.

Overnight leader Charley Hoffman fell away with a six-over 77 to finish in a tie for sixth.

McDowell and Simpson returned to the 18th for the first extra hole and both hit excellent drives.

But Simpson missed the green with his approach while McDowell hit a superb shot to 15 feet.

Simpson used his long putter for his third and it looked set to finish close to the cup until a massive gust of wind saw it roll over six-feet past.

With McDowell missing his birdie putt, Simpson needed to hole the return to prolong the contest, but it slipped by.

McDowell commiserated with his opponent as he gave his first reaction to his victory.

"I'm disappointed for Webb," he said. "He hit a great putt up there on this playoff hole -- he got a terrific gust of wind."

But McDowell, who goes up to No.8 in the new world rankings Monday, was delighted to register the first win for a European on the PGA Tour in 2013 and his first official victory since his triumph at Pebble Beach nearly three years ago.

"I played nicely all week," he said. "I played great Friday. The putter was cold most of the week and I really got it going today."

Both McDowell and Simpson had missed the cut at the preceding U.S. Masters, but found form to battle for victory a few short days later.

"It's funny the way things happen," McDowell. "I wouldn't swap this for a top 10 last week."

Masters winner Adam Scott sat out the tournament after his Augusta triumph.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT