Graeme McDowell didn’t let last week’s struggles at The Masters follow him to Hilton Head, South Carolina as he went on to win the RBC Heritage tournament in a playoff with Webb Simpson. McDowell finished well out of contention at Augusta but returned this week to win the plaid jacket at Harbour Town.
McDowell never shot higher than 71 on the week, and he finished Sunday’s round four-under to force a playoff. Simpson went into Sunday two-shots back of leader Charley Hoffman at nine-under par and managed a round of 71 before missing a par chance in the first playoff hole.
The 27-year-old made two birdies early but went on to make three bogeys to give McDowell a chance. McDowell made a late rush to the top of the leaderboard with a few birdies on his round including a long roll on the 11th hole.
Charley Hoffman held a share of the lead until his approach on the 14th hole found the water. He dropped his club in disgust, and any chance of winning had immediately vanished.
The focus returned to Simpson as he had a putt to end it with a birdie on the final hole but it rolled just past the cup. The miss gave McDowell a shot as they returned to the 18th tee for the second playoff in consecutive tournaments.
After a great drive, McDowell placed a 165-yard second shot just beneath the hole for a great chance at birdie while Simpson missed the green. Simpson’s chip shot rolled seven feet past the hole and he missed his par putt to give McDowell the win.
Here’s a recap of the final round at Harbour Town courtesy of the PGA Tour:
Luke Donald finished tied for third with Kevin Streelman at seven-under while Brandt Snedeker followed his top-ten finish at Augusta by shooting five-over this week. Snedeker finished tied for 59th while Masters’ winner Adam Scott was not in the field.
Graeme McDowell is off to a great start in 2013 and has currently outplayed good friend and fellow countryman Rory McIlroy. McDowell has three top-five finishes this season after his win on Sunday and is currently in sixth-place in the FedEx Cup standings.
The 33-year-old from Northern Ireland finished tied for fifth at the WGC-Match Play Championships before finishing tied for third at Doral. Missing the cut at Augusta had to be disappointing, but he quickly erased his poor showing at The Masters with the big win at Harbour Town on Sunday.
Will Graeme McDowell’s playoff win at the RBC Heritage tournament help him rise to the top of the PGA Tour with The Players Championship right around the corner?
[Image via Keith Allison]