Hanafin Congratulates McDowell On Open Victory

The Minister for Sport has congratulated golfer Graeme McDowell after he became the first European in 40 years and the first Irish man ever to win US Open.

McDowell, 30, came from three shots behind to win by one stroke at Pebble Beach yesterday to win in nail biting fashion, beating leader board toppers France's Gregory Havret, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

Responding to the victory, Minister Hanafin said: "This prestigious major title is a marvelous achievement for Graeme and is a testament to his dedication, commitment and the long hours of practice put in by professional golfers.

"Well done Graeme, your victory has lifted the spirits of Irish people and I am sure will add to the excitement for golfers as they look forward to the Ryder Cup in Wales in October."

Ms Hanafin added that Graeme’s victory at the US Open Golf placed him among the icons of Golf such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Hale Irwin and Ernie Els.

"It's an absolute dream come true, I've dreamed about this all my life," said McDowell, who won his fifth European Tour title in Wales two weeks ago.

The Portrush native, who went to college in America, becomes the first Northern Irishman to win a major since Fred Daly clinched the Open at Hoylake in 1947.


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