Graeme McDowell’s towering seven iron tee shot on the fifth hole of his final round in the US Open Championship at Pebble Beach has been awarded The European Tour Shot of the Month for June.
Having started solidly with four pars, McDowell needed something to kick start the quest which would ultimately bring him his first Major Championship and he got it at the testing 195 yard fifth hole, a superbly struck shot pitching in the perfect spot at the front of the green before rolling up to within eight feet of the pin from where he holed for a birdie two.
“That shot was a big turning point for me,” said McDowell. “It set up my first and only birdie of the final round. I hit a seven iron which pitched exactly where I wanted it to and it released down to about eight feet on a very tricky par three. That was a big swing for me and gave me the confidence to go on and get the job done that afternoon. It was the right shot at the right time. It was one of the shots I look back on as one of the key shots during the round.”
The honour marked a notable award double for the 30 year old Northern Irishman who also picked up The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month Award for June following his memorable triumph on the Californian coastline.
June provided a plethora of excellent shots for the judging panel to consider and, after much deliberation, second place went to Denmark’s Thomas Björn while South Africa’s Ernie Els took third.
Björn’s shot of note came on the final hole at Penha Longa – an exquisite pitch from 94 yards to within two inches of the hole to help him claim the Estoril Open de Portugal title in style, while Els’ stroke of genius came at the short 12th hole in the final round of the US Open – his five iron tee shot pitching in the fringe in front of the green before rolling up to a foot from the hole.
The Shot of the Month Award is presented to a Tour Member for the shot judged to be the best played each month on The European Tour International Schedule. At the end of the season, the winning shot from each month will go forward to contest The European Tour Shot of the Year, won in 2009 by Argentina’s Rafa Echenique for his albatross two at the final hole of the BMW International Open in Germany.
The monthly winners to date in 2010 have been Germany’s Martin Kaymer (January), England’s Ian Poulter (February), Korea’s Noh Seung-yul (March), England’s Lee Westwood (April) and England’s Luke Donald (May).