Graeme McDowell finishes third at the RSM Classic

Ulster player moves back into the world’s top-55 in the latest rankings as Kevin Kisner wins tournament

Graeme McDowell: But for a self-inflicted error on the first hole of Saturday’s third round, McDowell would have finished in a share of second. Photograph: AP Photo

Graeme McDowell: But for a self-inflicted error on the first hole of Saturday’s third round, McDowell would have finished in a share of second. Photograph: AP Photo

 

Although he failed to make it back-to-back wins on the PGA Tour, Graeme McDowell finished third behind Kevin Kisner in the RSM Classic, formerly known as The McGladrey, and moved back into the world’s top-55 in the latest rankings.

Kisner, a 31-year-old American, claimed a maiden tour win with a closing round of 64. It was an overdue success, for Kisner had three second place finishes on the PGA Tour in the 2015 and was recently runner-up to Russell Knox in the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.

This time, there was no mistake as Kisner – who had finished in the top-two in five of his last 20 tournaments – completed the job with a final round 64 for 22-under-par 260, which gave him six shots to spare over runner-up Kevin Chappell with McDowell a further shot adrift alone in third.

Kisner became the sixth first-time winner in seven events on the wraparound 2015/’16 season on the PGA Tour.

For McDowell, winner of the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico last week which brought with it an invite to the Masters next April, it was further confirmation of his return to form. In shooting a final round 67 for 267, the Ulsterman claimed third place. He had four birdies – first, fifth, 11thand 15th – and a lone bogey on the 15th.

Error

As he explained afterwards, “We’ve been doing a lot of lift, clean, and place in the last few weeks. I’d been told about three times walking to the first tee that it was ball down today. I literally just got into automatic pilot mode in the first fairway. Before I realised that, Michael Kim is looking at me funny.

“I’m like, ‘Okay, I just picked this ball up. What an idiot’. It was such an automatic pilot thing. It was a real game changer potential right there. I mean, I get it up and down for (par) four, but if I make bogey, who knows what happens to do round from there? So it was a big four, and makes for a better story in the end as well.”

McDowell went out with intent to chase down Kisner but, this time, there was no let-up from the American in his quest for a maiden tour win. Kisner got off to a hot start with birdies on the second, fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth holes and played solid golf on the run home with eight pars and a birdie on the 15th to coast home.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.