Graeme McDowell wins RBC Heritage

Graeme McDowell beat Webb Simpson at the first play-off hole to win the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links and claim his first non-major PGA Tour title

Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell beat Webb Simpson at the first play-off hole to win the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links and claim his first non-major PGA Tour title.

Conditions were extremely tough on the final day, with 20-30 mps winds buffeting the coastal Carolina course. Indeed, only three rounds in the 60s were posted.

One of those came from McDowell, who was four under for his round and one clear of the field on ten-under-par standing on the 72nd tee.

But he made his only bogey of the day at the tough 18th to fall into a play-off with Simpson, who shot a final-round 71.

Luke Donald finished in a tie for third alongside Kevin Streelman on seven-under-par, one clear of veteran Jerry Kelly.

Overnight leader Charlie Hoffman, who started the day on 11 under, stumbled to a six-over-par 77 to finish in a three-strong group in a tie for sixth.

In the play-off, McDowell enjoyed a change in fortunes. This time, his approach on the 18th found the middle of the green and he two-putted for his first PGA Tour win since the 2010 US Open.

"I guess the weather was kind of what the doctor ordered for me today. I needed an opportunity to get close to the leaders," said the Ulsterman.

"It's great to win what I'm going to call my first authentic PGA Tour win, my first one as an official member.

"This game kicks you more often than if gives you a pat on the back. It's hard to win."

RBC Heritage Hilton Head April 18-21, purse $5,800,000, par 71

1) Graeme McDowell (NIR) 71 67 68 68 = 275 $1,044,000 2) Webb Simpson (USA) 68 71 65 71 = 275 $626,400 T3) Luke Donald (ENG) 69 68 71 69 = 277 $336,400 T3) Kevin Streelman (USA) 66 70 69 71 = 277 $336,400 5) Jerry Kelly (USA) 69 72 66 71 = 278 $232,000 T6) Charley Hoffman (USA) 66 70 66 77 = 279 $194,300 T6) Chris Stroud (USA) 70 70 69 70 = 279 $194,300 T6) Russell Henley (USA) 73 70 67 69 = 279 $194,300

Bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x