Graeme McDowell is going to compete in the British Open Championship on his home course, at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, and it took the 2010 US Open champion a bomb on the 72nd hole to do it.
Despite winning in the Dominican Republic already this PGA Tour season, McDowell wasn't already exempt into July's Open Championship at Portrush, with the Ulster club marking the first time Northern Ireland has hosted the Open since 1953. At this week's 2019 RBC Canadian Open, the top three finishers in the top 10 not already exempt into the Open would gain spots.
McDowell needed a par at the difficult finisher at Canadian Open host Hamilton Golf and Country Club, but his tee shot only went 236 yards into some nasty rough. With a 193-yard uphill second shot, McDowell couldn't power it up to the green, leaving a delicate up-and-down to secure a top-10 finish. An errant chip left McDowell 29 feet, 3 inches, going hard to the right to save par and finish in the top 10.
Then this happened.
— GolfCentralDaily | Doc (@golfcentraldoc) June 9, 2019
McDowell fist-pumped, knowing the putt almost certainly kept him in the top 10 with a final round 68 to finish on 10-under 270. Thanks to a leaderboard filled with players already exempt into next month's Open, McDowell just had to finish in the top 10 to nail down a chance to play for the Claret Jug on his home course.
The great news for McDowell isn't only that he's in the Open, now the fourth and final men's major of the year, it gets him back to Pebble Beach on a high note. Nine years ago, McDowell won his lone major championship with a Sunday to remember on the Monterey peninsula, outlasting the likes of Tiger Woods to claim the US Open trophy.