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Graeme McDowell Wins U.S. Open

Graeme McDowell Wins U.S. Open

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Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland holds the winner’s trophy after capturing the U.S. Open title on Sunday.

For all the storied history of Pebble Beach Golf Links and the United States Open championships played here, the title this year fell to someone who had never even visited the course before he arrived for the tournament last week. But when Graeme McDowell first caught sight of the seaside cliffs that make this course so special, it reminded him of home in Northern Ireland.

He needed every ounce of that comfort to survive the test of will that the final round of an Open inevitably becomes. He built a lead with unnaturally steady play on the front nine and then simply survived the back nine to win the title by a single stroke after shooting a nerve-rattling three-over-par 74.

McDowell, 30, became the first player from his country to win a United States Open. It was his first major title, but he betrayed few of the nerves that must have come with that pursuit. Walking up the 18th fairway, with everything on the line, he turned to a television cameraman walking with him to wish everyone a happy Father’s Day. “It’s fun, right?” he said. – from NYTimes