• World Challenge, Round Four

McDowell holds his nerve to win World Challenge

ESPN staff
December 2, 2012
Graeme McDowell plays his way out of a bunker © Getty Images


Graeme McDowell fended off a determined Keegan Bradley to end the 2012 season on a high with victory at the World Challenge in California.

McDowell, who stormed into the lead on Friday with a second-round 66, carded a final round 68 as he won by three strokes at Thousand Oaks.

The former US Open champion saw his lead reduced to a single stroke by Bradley after the American picked up two birdies in his opening five holes, but his hard work was swiftly undone by back-to-back bogeys before the turn.

McDowell matched Bradley's birdie effort at the 10th before consolidating his advantage by picking up another shot at 11, but saw his lead shrink once again in a two-shot swing at the 13th - McDowell making his first bogey in over 40 holes while Bradley birdied to move within two strokes of the leader.

In what was essentially a straight shootout between the pair, McDowell triumphed in the wet conditions, finishing with a flourish with a birdie at 18 to finish on 17-under, landing his first title since he last lifted the World Challenge trophy in 2010.

Defending champion Tiger Woods threatened to make a late charge with a brilliant eagle at the 16th, but the tournament host finished in a tie for fourth on nine-under alongside Jim Furyk and Ricky Fowler.

Bo Van Pelt made four birdies on the back nine to finish third on ten-under, but never looked likely to catch the front two.

Englishman Ian Poulter finished the tournament on level par after his round of 72, while Zach Johnson finished with the wooden spoon after a woeful final round of 79 left him stranded on five-over par.

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