McDowell takes golf’s crown

It’s a small family legend that at the age of two in 1951, I interrupted a crucial putt in the sole British Open to be played at Royal Portrush with the cry: “What’s that man doing Daddy?” Hundreds of others probably tell the same story. That’s my sole personal link with Portrush’s Graeme McDowell who has just snatched victory in the US Open. To an ingoramus like me, he seemed to come from nowhere, after years of agonising from British sport journalists over whether Monty or Lee Westwood would ever make it.  While he’s careful to place himself in a joint British Irish tradition alongside Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington, the name he most invokes for me is Fred Daly who would have been 101 next year.  Graeme’s is the greatest sporting achievement since Mary Peters’ Munich Gold for “our wee province.”

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London