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Grounds for optimism

Richard Boxall Posted 19th May 2013 view comments

Richard Boxall says the prestige of winning the Volvo World Match Play will make Graeme McDowell a real favourite at Wentworth.

The Northern Irishman will arrive at next week's BMW PGA Championship on a high after securing a fine 2&1 victory over Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee in Bulgaria and picking up a trophy that has previously been own by the liks of Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Arnold Palmer.

He returns to the UK with a winners' cheque for 800,000 euros and Boxall said that, tiredness aside, he'll go into the next tournament in fine fettle.

"I think he's quite proud of that," said the Sky Sports expert.

"Seve, Jack and Arnold have won it and the Volvo World Match Play is a big tournament. There have been some great names on it and if you can get your name etched in on there, engraved on that trophy, it's a great thing in your career.

"He's in perfect shape for the BMW PGA Championship. He'll enjoy himself tonight and will have a couple of glasses of water and thoroughly enjoy himself, but knowing Graeme he'll be back to routine pretty quickly. He'll go and hit some balls.

"He'll be one of the favourites as long as he's not too tired next week."

Ground

Jaidee got off to a fine start in Sunday's final and McDowell was forced to battle back from behind before securing victory on the back nine.

And Boxall praised the insatiable appetite and consistency of the Ulsterman as he found a way to win.

"He certainly played well," he added.

"Jaidee got off to a brilliant start early on. He was two up through six holes and it was the first time McDowell had been down all week and had to come back.

"He ground him down in the end. He kept hitting the fairways and hitting the greens. What McDowell did do today was to save some pars. He holed putts on the ninth hole for a par and one earlier on the fifth after he'd got in trouble on his second shot.

"He just kept grinding and grinding and grinding away and eventually there were a few mistakes from Jaidee, including a bad tee shot at the 14th. That was the first real mistake and the only bogey of the final.

"At 15, McDowell sensed he just had to get it close to the flag and put some pressure on and he was two up with three to go."

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