Graeme McDowell won the Tiger Woods-hosted World Challenge — his first tournament victory since also taking the event two years ago.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — There would be no Tiger Woods charge or belly-putter magic to topple Graeme McDowell’s stellar play Sunday.
With a deft chip shot on the 17th hole and a close-the-door birdie on the 18th, McDowell won the World Challenge by three shots over belly-putter user Keegan Bradley.
It was the second time in three years McDowell, a Northern Ireland native, won the 18-player invitational tournament at Sherwood Country Club that benefits host Woods’ charitable foundation.
McDowell’s prize: $1 million and the satisfaction of winning his first event since he captured the World Challenge two years ago in a playoff with Woods.
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“It has been too long,” said McDowell, who shot a 4-under-par 68 to finish at 17 under. “It has been a hell of a two years since I sat here as a winner.”
Bradley shot a 69. Bo Van Pelt (70) was third at 10 under. Woods (71), Jim Furyk (70) and Rickie Fowler (69) tied for fourth at 9 under.
Woods, a five-time winner of the tournament, including last year, said, “I struggled with my game a little bit this week. I just didn’t have it.”
Bradley was in the spotlight because the U.S. Golf Association and its overseas counterpart, the R&A, ruled last week the technique of anchoring the putter against the body would be banned starting in 2016. On Saturday, a heckler called Bradley a “cheater.”
• Martin Kaymer of Germany shot a 3-under 69 to earn his first title of 2012, holding on for a two-shot victory in rainy conditions at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa.
Kaymer finished at 8-under 280 and earned $1.25 million in the 12-player event at Gary Player Country Club. Charl Schwartzel (69) of South Africa was second and American Bill Haas (71) finished third at 3 under.