McDowell's triumph raises Detroit hopes

Graeme McDowell claimed the second European Tour victory of his short professional career with a play-off triumph over Thomas Levet in the Italian Open here yesterday and the Ulsterman immediately targeted another win to bolster his Ryder Cup hopes.

The Ballymoney-born golfer won at the fourth-extra hole with a par four after his French opponent's approach to the 18th at Castello di Tolcinasco found the greenside lake and he failed to chip in after a penalty drop.

His debut victory came at the Scandinavian Masters back in 2002 in only his fourth Tour start but he failed to claim another top-10 finish until the Madeira Open just over a month ago. But this rain-delayed victory, and the £133,552 prize money which came with it, lifted McDowell to 10th in the Order of Merit and raised hopes of securing a Ryder Cup berth in Detroit.

However, McDowell realises there is a long way to go before he can start contemplating doing battle against America's finest. "I've got to win again, but whatever happens, happens," he said. "I have to keep working hard from here."

McDowell had been tied for the lead overnight on 18 under with another Frenchman, Gregory Havret, in an event reduced to 54 holes and pushed into a fifth day by weekend storms. Havret failed to improve his score over his two remaining holes but a birdie four at the 15th put McDowell into the lead only to be pegged back when Levet, one hole ahead, birdied the par-four 17th. Scotland's Alastair Forsyth finished in fifth, while pre-tournament favourite, Ian Poulter, had too much to do in his final round and a 68 was good enough only for a tie for sixth.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate