McDowell wins Andalucia Masters by two, Westwood takes over No. 1 spot

graeme mcdowell
Getty Images
Graeme McDowell will become the sixth European player in the world top 10 on Monday when the new rankings are issued.
By
PA Sport

Series:

Europe's Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell will break into the top 10 in Monday’s world golf rankings after winning the European Tour’s Andalucia Masters on Sunday.

McDowell was 3 over par for the day in trying weather conditions at Valderrama to finish 3 under overall, two ahead of a chasing pack of three.

Northern Irishman Gareth Maybin, the unfortunate Damien McGrane of Ireland and Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen were the only other men to finish under par for the tournament, each closing 1 under.

McGrane, in particular, will feel aggrieved after losing his composure on the final three holes, during which he dropped four shots.

McDowell's win not only made new inroads into Martin Kaymer's sizable Race to Dubai lead but also books his place as world No. 10 -- becoming the sixth European in that group alongside four Americans.

He started the final round tied for the lead with compatriot Maybin on 6 under, but both men lost strokes early on to open the way for McGrane. Maybin bogeyed his first three holes on his way to a 5-over round of 76.

Ireland's McGrane, playing in the group ahead of McDowell and Maybin, started on 2 under and gradually chipped away to 5 under to be in the lead on the 16th tee. But with a second tour win in his sights and heavy wind affecting all the players, he made a mess of the hole and surrendered the initiative.

McGrane sent his tee shot into the rough on the right and then took on an overly ambitious shot that backfired before narrowly avoiding going out of bounds. In the end, he needed four shots to reach the green and two putts for a double-bogey 6.

McDowell bogeyed the third and eighth before pulling a shot back on the par-4 ninth. The U.S. Open champion dropped a further shot in taking four strokes on the 12th but a steady return of pars in the increasingly difficult conditions were enough to ease him into a two-shot lead.

The 31-year-old bogeyed the 18th but by then he was already assured of his seventh career win.

Jose Maria Olazabal -- who is widely expected to take over the Ryder Cup captaincy, fitness permitting -- was one of only three players to sign for a sub-par round, with his 1-under 70 enough to earn him a share of 10th.

Kjeldsen and Joost Luiten each shot 2 under for the day.

Martin Kaymer closed with a 75 to finish at 3 over, far below the top-two finish he needed to take over the world No. 1 ranking. Specifically, Kaymer needed to win or share second place with no more than one other player if he, rather than the absent Lee Westwood, was to succeed Tiger Woods when the American's 281-week reign ends on Monday.

That means Westwood will travel to China for the WGC-HSBC Champions this coming week as Europe's first No. 1 since Nick Faldo in 1994. And the 37-year-old will come face to face with the man he has deposed in Shanghai when play gets under way on Thursday.

Woods qualifies for the event on the back of his victory in the Australian Masters last November, his last tournament win before the sex scandal that prompted the American to take a lengthy break from the game.