McDowell wins Heritage playoff
South Carolina - Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell defeated Webb Simpson at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff on Sunday to win the PGA Tour's Heritage tournament.
VIDEO: Heritage Round 4 highlights
McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, defeated the reigning US Open title holder Simpson with a par at the first playoff hole.
McDowell had fired an impressive two-under par 69 at wind-swept Harbour Town Golf Links, marred only by a bogey at the final hole that left him on nine-under 275.
He was joined there by Simpson, who carded an even-par 71 that included three birdies and three bogeys to force the playoff.
England's Luke Donald also posted a 69 to share third place with American Kevin Streelman, who carded a 72 for seven-under 277.
Overnight leader Charley Hoffman struggled in the windy weather and his six-over 77 saw him fall into a tie for sixth place on five-under 279.
McDowell notched his first PGA Tour of the season.
When they returned to the 18th for the playoff, McDowell shrugged off his regulation bogey at the hole and landed his approach shot some 15 feet from the pin, and then two-putted for par.
Simpson, who missed the green, nearly holed his next shot with his putter from the green, only to see it caught by the wind and roll six feet past.
After McDowell had safely parred, Simpson missed his par attempt coming back.
McDowell thought the wind was a factor in Simpson's miss.
"I'm disappointed for Webb," he said. "He hit a great putt up there on this playoff hole - he got a terrific gust of wind."
But McDowell was pleased with his first PGA Tour win of the season - a first for a European on the US circuit in 2013.
"I played nicely all week," he said. "I played great Friday. The putter was cold most of the week and I really got it going today."
McDowell briefly took the lead after a birdie at 16. But at the final hole of regulation, his 13-foot putt for par stopped inches from the cup and he tapped in for a bogey.
Simpson, meanwhile, followed a birdie at the 12th with six straight pars.
He did have a chance for the victory with a 22-foot birdie putt at the last hole of regulation, but it missed left.
"You're never out of this tournament," McDowell said. "You just have to hang around and hang around, and I did that."
Leading final-round scores here
Sunday in the $5.8 million US PGA Tour Heritage tournament (x-won in
playoff; USA unless noted, par-71)
275 - x-Graeme McDowell (NIR) 71-67-68-69, Webb Simpson 68-71-65-71
277 - Luke Donald (ENG) 69-68-71-69, Kevin Streelman 66-70-69-72
278 - Jerry Kelly 69-72-66-71
279 - Russell Henley 73-70-67-69, Chris Stroud 70-70-69-70, Charley Hoffman 66-70-66-77
- Mark Wilson 69-75-67-70, Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 69-69-72-71, Trevor
Immelman (RSA) 72-72-66-71, Marc Leishman (AUS) 67-71-71-72, Richard H.
Lee 68-71-69-73, Jordan Spieth 70-69-69-73, Billy Horschel 71-68-68-74,
Camilo Villegas (COL) 68-71-68-74, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 70-69-67-75
- K.J. Choi (KOR) 70-71-71-70, Ken Duke 70-70-71-71, Johnson Wagner
67-71-71-73, Pat Perez 68-70-70-74, Steve LeBrun 68-68-71-75, Justin
283 - Scott Langley 71-69-72-71, Stewart Cink
70-69-73-71, Robert Garrigus 70-71-70-72, Darron Stiles 70-69-71-73,
Bill Haas 68-69-70-76, Tim Clark (RSA) 68-71-68-76