sport

McDowell wins in California

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell finished three shots clear of Keegan Bradley to win the World Golf Challenge in California.

The European Ryder Cup star banked a cheque for US$1million as a result of finishing 17 under for the week, as well as ending a two-year wait since his last victory.

The 2010 US Open winner was two shots ahead of Bradley at the start of the day and ensured success with a strong back nine that earned him a four-under 68.

He was one under at the turn, having picked up a stroke at the par-five second, but strengthened his case on the back nine with four more birdies to balance against a solitary bogey-six at the 13th.

Bradley started strongly, with birdies at holes two and five but was level par for the front nine after giving back shots on eight and nine.

He finished three under for the round as he responded to McDowell's surge but it was not enough.

Aside from his part in Europe's historic Ryder Cup success, 2012 has not been a halcyon year for McDowell and he admitted the win was a big morale boost.

"This really caps off my season,'' McDowell said.

"We try not to put winning on a pedestal, but this one feels very sweet because it's been a grind all year.

"Certainly I will draw some confidence from this one. The game hasn't given me a huge amount this year.''

McDowell and Bradley were well ahead of the rest of the 18-man field, Bo Van Pelt finishing third four shots back from Bradley and seven adrift of McDowell.

Tournament host Tiger Woods finished in a share of fourth alongside Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk on nine under.

Zach Johnson spared England's Ian Poulter last place with a dreadful round of seven over that included three double bogeys and three bogeys.