SOTOGRANDE, Spain (AP) — Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland shot a 74 Sunday to win the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama.
He finished at 3-under, two shots ahead of Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin, who shot a 76 to finish in a tie for second place with Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen (69) and Ireland’s Damien McGrane (72).
McDowell won $697,000 with his third victory of the season on the European Tour.
McDowell, who won the Wales Open and the U.S. Open in June, is expected to move to No. 10 when golf’s rankings are announced Monday.
Those rankings will be topped by England’s Lee Westwood, who will replace Tiger Woods as No. 1. Martin Kaymer needed a top-two finish in Spain, but shot a closing 75 to finish tied for 21st.
Kaymer also finds his lead dwindling in Europe’s Race to Dubai money list. By winning the $697,000 first prize, McDowell cut Kaymer’s advantage.
“I am really trying to put the shine on a great season,” McDowell said. “I didn’t just want to rest on my laurels and just cruise through to Dubai. I have punched a hole in Martin’s lead here and now we go on to Shanghai, where I really intend to give him a run for his money.
“I am starting to move into the upper echelons of golf and starting to believe in myself. To see Lee Westwood move to No. 1 is great for him after playing so well for the last couple of years and great for European golf. And, of course, now I will be trying to chase him down.”
McDowell trailed McGrane with three holes remaining after the 2008 China Open champion holed a bunker shot for birdie at the par-3 15th.
But McGrane’s lead was shortlived. After driving behind a tree at the next hole, he ran up a double-bogey and dropped shots at each of the final two holes.
“To hand it all back the way I did was very disappointing,” McGrane said. “I got fliers out of bad lies that I didn’t need – but that’s Valderrama for you – when the course bites, it bites hard.”
Maybin was within one shot of McDowell playing Valderrama’s feared 17th, but he too fell away. He putted his third shot into water around the green and drove into trees at the last hole.