When he won the US Open this year at Pebble Beach McDowell confirmed his elevation to the highest level of the game as an individual golfer. But before then he had already proved himself a magnificent team player. He first did so when winning the Palmer Cup in 2000 (a US v Europe college match) and was then also victorious in the 2001 Walker Cup. As a professional he has won the Royal Trophy (for Europe against Asia) and the Seve Trophy twice. In the latter he teamed up with Rory McIlroy in 2009 and won three of four matches, adding a singles win in a stellar performance that Colin Montgomerie raved about. A few months later the pair finished second in the World Cup representing Ireland. Given this success, it is curious that his record in the WGC World Matchplay is very poor (just one win in five matches) but, as his Seve Trophy team-mate Chris Wood said: “Graeme is a great team player. He pumps everyone up, supports the team and you can tell by looking in his eyes that he’s desperate to win.” He certainly proved that on Ryder Cup debut in 2008, claiming 2.5 points in four matches.
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