Graeme McDowell returns to scene of recent success in California

Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell

Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell will look to continue his brilliant record in the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in California this week.

In three appearances in the event McDowell has won it twice (2010 and 2012) and finished second in 2009, but the Portrush golfer faces a tough battle to retain his title.

Ten of the 18 competitors in the field have won at least one major title - including of course tournament host Tiger Woods - while McDowell will also have to beat compatriot Rory McIlroy, who claimed his first victory of 2013 in the Australian Open last week.

McIlroy began the final round in Sydney four shots behind Adam Scott, but overhauled the Masters champion with a closing 66, including a birdie on the 72nd hole.

Scott had been looking to become only the second man, after compatriot Robert Allenby in 1995, to complete the Australian triple crown, having won the Australian PGA and Australian Masters titles.

PGA Tour rookie of the year Jordan Spieth is the lone debutant after replacing Brandt Snedeker (who withdrew with a knee injury), the 20-year-old having enjoyed a brilliant 2013 campaign.

Spieth became the first teenager in more than 80 years to win on the PGA Tour when he defeated Zach Johnson and David Hearn in a play-off for the John Deere Classic in July.going on to finish eighth in the FedEx Cup with earnings of almost £2.5million.




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