McDowell hails 'career-best' final round to halt Davies' bid

Graeme McDowell crushed home hopes here to win the Wales Open yesterday and on the evidence of this remarkable performance the Ulsterman will be entrusted to do the same to American hopes on the same course in four months' time.

The £300,000 first prize took McDowell to the brink of the automatic positions in the Ryder Cup standings. Yet so accomplished was his display that surely Colin Montgomerie, the Europe captain, will not be able to ignore his claims whatever the table reads come August.

His final-round 63 completed a weekend which saw him move from one-under to 15-under. And he had to compile it just as Rhys Davies was sending the crowd into a frenzy. On any other day the 25-year-old's course-record 62 would have been enough. But with McDowell in this form the Welsh rookie was forced to take consolation from his second runner-up finish in as many weeks.

"This was the best final round of my career," said McDowell, who began four behind the overnight leader Marcel Siem before the German slumped to a 76. "It was special, dream stuff. This is a huge step towards making my second Ryder Cup appearance. Winning around here like that must be a good feather in the hat if I need a nod."

Monty might also find it difficult to overlook Davies. He is some competitor. The Bridgend pro admitted to being a "little bit angry" when he finished, despite a spectacular round which featured two eagles on par fours. After beginning the day eight behind, Davies actually topped the scoreboard as soon as the 12th. But even though his 30-footer for a two in the par-four 15th matched his holed eight-iron for a two on the par-four eighth, he could not hold off McDowell. So the wait for a home winner of the Wales Open goes on.

"It is bitter-sweet," said Davies, who took only 21 putts, further enhancing his burgeoning status as one of the game's great putter. "If you told me at the start of the day I'd shoot 62 and come second I would have taken it."

There was yet more to impress Montgomerie with another fine week for Luke Donald. Despite starting with a 75, the Englishman finished third on 10-under with a last day 65. That made it a first, second and third in his three-week trip to Europe. He should come home more often.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York