- Volvo World Match Play Championship
McDowell edges out Jaidee in Bulgaria
Graeme McDowell has won the Volvo World Match Play Championship after a 2&1 win over Thongchai Jaidee at a sun-drenched Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Bulgaria.
The Northern Irishman, who lost in the final of the event last year, found himself two holes behind when Jaidee sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the second and McDowell missed a ten-footer to halve the fourth.
Jaidee, a former paratrooper, should have extended his lead at the very next hole after McDowell was forced into taking an unplayable drop, but he missed his short birdie putt and McDowell managed to get up and down for a par which proved vital.
McDowell halved the deficit with a birdie at the par-3 seventh after a stunning tee shot, before the pair shared pars all the way to the 12th when a birdie for McDowell saw him level the match.
Jaidee's first bogey of the final at 14 allowed McDowell to take the lead for the first time, and when the former US Open champion birdied the 15th to go two-up, there was no way back for his opponent.
"It's a very prestigious event and I can't tell you how excited I am to win it," McDowell told Sky Sports after picking up the €800,000 first prize.
"Thongchai was very solid at the start and he made it very difficult. I played strong coming in, but it was difficult. The greens were very fast and Thongchai's a great competitor - as were a the other 22 players who teed up here this week."
McDowell, whose last win was just four weeks ago at the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage, had earlier booked his place in the final with a convincing 3&2 victory over Branden Grace, while Jaidee knocked out Thomas Aiken by the same score.
Volvo World Match Play Championship day four results:
Semi Final 1: Thongchai Jaidee bt. Thomas Aiken 3&2
Semi Final 2: Graeme McDowell bt. Branden Grace 3&2
Final: Graeme McDowell bt. Thongchai Jaidee 2&1