November 03, 2013
- Graeme McDowell had his best finish since winning the RBC Heritage in April. (Halleran/Getty Images)
Graeme McDowell was giving up dozens of yards off the tee to Dustin Johnson in the final round at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, but that's not what bothered him.
It was the putter that bugged him, even after cruising through the final two rounds without a bogey.
"Proud of the way I played this week," said McDowell, who finished solo third, four shots behind Johnson. "A little bit of work needed on the flatstick. I can put better than I putted this week for sure."
Still, it was McDowell's first top-10 on the PGA TOUR since his win in April at the RBC Heritage. He had only three bogeys all week at Sheshan, but was left in awe of Johnson, who played with McDowell in the final group Sunday.
"He trenches one 350 down the middle and has the hands to hit that 70 yard shot to the front pin and make the putt," McDowell said. "He's just a quality, talented, very athletic classy player.
"Yeah, he makes mistakes, but when you've got a game as good as him, you can get away with a few mistakes. He drove it phenomenal. He's just got a great wedge game to go with just an outrageously good driving game."
McDowell wasn't hitting it 350 yards and straight like Johnson was all week, but his iron game was just as good. He was second to Johnson this week in greens hit despite giving up all those yards off the tee.
"Generally just very proud of myself the way I played this week tee to green, especially," McDowell said. "On the greens, room for improvement. But I didn't make a bogey all weekend."
McDowell is second to Henrik Stenson in the Race to Dubai standings with two weeks remaining, but the Northern Irishman is skipping next week's Turkish Airlines Open.
"As long as Henrik doesn't do anything too unsensible next week in Turkey, I'll have a good shot going into Dubai," McDowell said.