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Thursday, 01 August 2013
Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)
Graeme McDowell (Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell has been named The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for July after becoming the second multiple winner on The 2013 European Tour International Schedule with his triumph in the Alstom Open de France.

McDowell, who receives an engraved alms dish and a Jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, claimed a four shot victory at Le Golf National – venue for The 2018 Ryder Cup – on the outskirts of Paris in Continental Europe’s oldest National Open Championship to follow his victory in the Volvo World Match Play Championship in May.

The 2010 US Open Champion, who is currently second behind Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, in The 2013 Race to Dubai, became the first Northern Irishman to win the Alstom Open de France – first played in 1906 – and claimed his third success of a momentous season following another win on the US PGA Tour.

McDowell, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Tuesday, said: “It’s nice to have another reason to celebrate, in addition to my birthday, this week. It was obviously a great win at the French Open. It’s a golf course I’ve always felt I can do well on.

“It was a special win at a prestigious venue. I’m delighted it has been recognised with this award. It’s always nice when it’s recognised that you’re playing well, especially against such a high quality field with some top, top players and in Major season too.”

The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Panel, comprising members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from television and radio, also considered the winning performances of another Northern Irishman, Michael Hoey, in the M2M Russian Open and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt on the US PGA Tour, in addition to Sweden’s Henrik Stenson’s back-to-back performances in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and The 142nd Open Championship.

Stenson included brilliant rounds of 64 and 66 at Castle Stuart Golf Links to finish tied third behind Phil Mickelson, then seven days later demonstrated his brilliance again on the links by taking the runners-up berth behind Mickelson at Muirfield to move to fourth in The 2013 Race to Dubai and re-enter the Official World Golf Ranking top 20.

Derek Lawrenson, Golf Correspondent of The Daily Mail, said: “Henrik Stenson’s rise from the depths of the middle 200s in the Official World Ranking is a heart-warming example of the old adage about class being permanent.

"Nevertheless the Open de France is one of the most historic and best tournaments on The European Tour, played on a top-class course that was presented in perfect shape, and to come out on top Graeme McDowell demonstrated not only great craft and skill but all the combative qualities that make him such a wonderful competitor. He is a most worthy European Tour Golfer of the Month.”

McDowell will now be considered – along with previous winners Chris Wood (January), Darren Fichardt (February), Marcel Siem (March), Raphaël Jacquelin (April), Matteo Manassero (May) and Justin Rose (June) – for The 2013 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award, and all will be seeking to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Rory McIlroy.

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