Graeme McDowell is the third Irish winner of the “European Tour Shot of the Year” award in the last six years.
The Ulsterman’s crucial birdie putt on the 16th hole on the final day of the Ryder Cup was voted the best of the Shot of the Month choices, edging out Martin Kaymer fearless putt on the 18th green at Whistling Straits to force a play-off with Bubba Watson in the US PGA and a chip by Ian Poulter in the WGC-Accenture Match Play final in Tucson.
The full list of monthly winners in 2010 was: Martin Kaymer (January and August) Ian Poulter (February), Noh Seung-yul (March), Lee Westwood (April), Luke Donald (May), Graeme McDowell (June and October), Miguel Angel Jiménez (July), Edoardo Molinari (September), Robert Karlsson (November).
Recalling the pressure of having Europe’s Ryder Cup fate in his hands, McDowell said: “That putt on the 16th was the best I’ve hit in my life. It was just 15 feet but it was above the hole and very fast.
“I knew I just had to get the ball going and thankfully it caught an edge and dropped in because I wouldn’t have fancied the one back if it had missed!”
One up with three to play against Hunter Mahan, McDowell knew that he had to win the final singles match on the course to help European regain the Ryder Cup.
The birdie put McDowell two up with two to play and he closed out the match and secured Europe a 14.5 to 13.5 win at the next hole when Mahan fluffed his chip.
McDowell added: “In the context of The Ryder Cup, that 16th hole was massive as I was aware that everything was riding on the outcome of my singles match with Hunter.
“I knew that a half point was still not good enough to regain the cup. However everything went according to plan at the 16th and the rest is history.
“I will never forget the feeling standing over that putt and appreciating its importance. It was as important as any stroke I will ever play in my career and I am delighted it has been voted as The European Tour Shot of the Year.”
US Open champion McDowell is the third Irishman to win the Shot of the Year title following Paul McGinley’s wedge to the 17th in the Volvo Masters at Valderrama in 2005 and Padraig Harrington’s five-wood to the 71st hole in the Open at Royal Birkdale in 2008.
McDowell described his 2010 season as “the stuff of dreams” as he won four times, including his first major, and earned a string of awards. The first European winner of the US Open for 40 years, he shared the European Tour’s Player of the Year award with Kaymer.