McDowell held his nerve, while everyone around him faltered, to win the 2010 US Open. Golf Monthly’s columnist made a number of clutch putts to claim a one-shot victory over Frenchman Grégory Havret.
Dustin Johnson began the day with a three-shot lead, but fell away early and finished with a demoralising round of 82. A birdie at the 5th for McDowell saw him take a lead that he never let slip. The 30-year-old made a number of vital par saving putts early on as those around him struggled on the treacherous greens.
While Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods all fell back, it was surprisingly Havret who remained calm and moved up to within one shot of McDowell. Havret failed to make birdie on the last, which meant that after a decent drive, McDowell could lay up on the dangerous finishing hole. He played a wedge to 20ft and two putted for his maiden Major victory.
The Northern Irishman said: “I think I’ve died and gone to heaven for sure. This can’t be really real. I don’t think this will ever sink in.
“It’s a very special feeling to pick this trophy up on the 18th green, one of the most special golf courses in the planet.”
McDowell is the first British golfer to win the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970. Victory in the Welsh Open and at Pebble Beach see him move from 37th to 13th in the world and into second place in the Ryder Cup world points list.
The US Open
Pebble Beach Golf Links, California
1 G McDowell (NIR) 71 68 71 74 284
2 G Havret (Fra) 73 71 69 72 285
3 E Els (SA) 73 68 72 73 286
T4 P Mickelson (US) 75 66 73 73 287
T4 T Woods (US) 74 72 66 75 287
T6 M Kuchar (US) 74 72 74 68 288
T6 D Love (US) 75 74 68 71 288