NEWPORT, Wales (AP) — Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland shot a closing-round 63 to pick up his fifth career European Tour victory at the Wales Open on Sunday.
McDowell’s 15-under 269 over this year’s Ryder Cup course at Celtic Manor left him three shots ahead of Welshman Rhys Davies. England’s Luke Donald, the winner of last week’s Madrid Masters, finished in third place.
McDowell had eight birdies in the first 11 holes of his final round.
The third-round leader, Germany’s Marcel Siem, collapsed to a 75, which left him in seventh. Siem’s woes left the 25-year-old Davies, the favorite to win Europe’s Rookie of the Year award, as the main challenger. His 9-under 62, a record on the new course, included two eagles.
“I couldn’t imagine playing the first 11 holes the way I did. It was dream stuff,” said McDowell, who is bidding to play here again in October at the Ryder Cup.
“This win now is a huge leg up in my campaign to win a Ryder Cup place this year. To have a victory around this course must be a huge feather in my cap if, come September, I need the nod of a wild card from Colin Montgomerie.”