Volvo World Match Play Championship: Graeme McDowell beats Thongchai Jaidee to win final in Bulgaria
Last Updated: 19/05/13 5:43pm
Graeme McDowell: Beat Thongchai Jaidee 2&1 in Sunday's final
Top seed Graeme McDowell won the Volvo World Match Play Championship after fighting back to beat Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee in Sunday's final.
McDowell made amends for his narrow defeat at the hands of Nicolas Colsaerts in last year's final as he closed out a 2&1 victory at the spectacular Thracian Cliffs lay-out in Bulgaria.
Having overcome Branden Grace in his semi-final earlier in the day, McDowell showed patience and nerve as he overhauled an early deficit against Jaidee to secure his second title of the season - the first coming at Harbour Town last month.
Heading into the final, McDowell had not trailed in any of his matches all week but, after Jaidee had made a fine up-and-down to halve the first hole, that changed as early as the second when his opponent rolled home a 30-footer for birdie to move 1up.
The former paratrooper then extended his lead at the par-five fourth hole as another neat piece of scrambling secured his second birdie.
He should have moved further ahead at the next, but missed a short birdie putt after McDowell had bravely opted to drop out of some plants before making a clutch up-and-down of his own to record what would prove a valuable par.
That escape seemed to galvanise McDowell who halved the lead with his first birdie of the round at the seventh and the Ulsterman then made a series of nerveless putts around the turn to stay just one adrift.
He was back on terms following the 12th hole when Jaidee was unable to extricate himself from an awkward spot and carded his first bogey of the day.
All square with five to play, it was the Thai who blinked first as he pulled his drive way left on 14 and, having been forced to hack out sideways from thick undergrowth, fell behind for the first time as he failed to rescue a par.
McDowell turned the screw with a sublime wedge to five feet at the par-four 15th and, when Jaidee missed his 15-footer for birdie, he sank the ensuing putt to move 2up with three to play.
After they halved the par-five 16th, the end came at the short 17th hole where another par was sufficient for McDowell to seal victory and a winner's cheque of €800,000.
The delighted victor told Sky Sports afterwards: "It's very special. It's a very prestigious event and I can't tell you how excited I am to win it."