McDowell Sensationally Holes 30-Foot 72nd Hole Par To Secure Royal Portrush Tee-Time.

Graeme McDowell sensationally booked himself a Royal Portrush a tee-time into next month’s Open Championship holing a remarkable 30-footer for a  72nd hole saving par at the Canadian Open in Hamilton.

McDowell now joins fellow Irish Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Shane Lowry on a Portrush course he knows like the back of his hand.

G Mac  went into the final round needing to be inside the top-10 but also among the top-three not otherwise exempt into the 148th Open Champioinship, and in a Canadian Open hosting an Open Championship qualifier for a first occasion.

He was just shot outside of achieving that goal heading to the last day, and while McDowell had dropped as low as T12th and no thanks to 11 straight pars, the 39-year old breathed lift into his Open Championship quest with birdies at 12 and 13 to muscle his way to an eventual share of eighth place.

Fortunately for McDowell there was just two players, himself and Canadian Adam Hadwin, who were not exempt and with Hadwin delighting local fans posting a closing 70 to share sixth place at McDowell two shots back on 10-under par.

McDowell then pared his next four holes but looked to have made mess on the last when his second shot was short and right of the green.

He was staring at a 22-yard chip that flew the flag and stopped some 30-feet shy of the flag from where McDowell brought the house down in holing the par putt.

“It’s a bit of a relief really as it’s been a long journey since Bay Hill really which was the first time this year I have played for ‘spots’ into the Open Championship,” he said.

“It has also been an interesting debate on social media with a lot of people out there who certainly did not feel I should get any special exemption or any special love from the R & A.

“Once I realised that was not going to be something that was an option, it was a case of getting my head down and playing some golf.

“So, I knew coming into this run of the RBC Canadian Open and this coming week’s U.S Open along with the Irish Open and Scottish Open’s that there would be spots up for grabs every week.

“But I have to be honest as it’s really nice to get the job done in this first week as I can now go and enjoy my golf for the few weeks and get ready for what is going to be a very special week of the Open Championship in my home town of Portrush.

“I am now very, very ecstatic to be in the field.”

It will now be McDowell’s 14th Open appearance but a first in three years and with a best finish of T5th in 2012 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.



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