McDowell Finishes Just Shy Of Second U.S. Open Title

Former Blazer Graeme McDowell finished just short of winning his second career U.S. Open title, settling for second place instead.

June 17, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO - Former UAB men's golfer Graeme McDowell missed a 24-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole which would have forced a playoff, and closed play in second overall at the 112th U.S. Open at the Olympic Club.

McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, held a share of the lead with Jim Furyk at the start of the day. However, he missed the fairway on eight consecutive holes in one stretch but still gave himself a chance to tie after a birdie on the 17th.

Had McDowell sunk the long putt on No. 18, it would have forced an 18-hole playoff with Webb Simpson on Monday.

"It was an outside opportunity that obviously I desperately would love to have holed," McDowell said of his final birdie attempt.

Simpson carded a final round 68 to finish play at 1-over par for the 72-hole event and celebrated his first career major championship win. Instead, McDowell was forced to settle for a second-place tie with Michael Thompson, an Alabama graduate, at two-over par 282.

"This is sort of a new experience for me, finishing second at a major championship, but I would rather have tried and failed than have never tried at all," McDowell told reporters following Sunday's final round. "Today has reinforced to me that I can compete and win more major championships."

McDowell, UAB's 2002 Haskins Award winner, opened the event with a 69 on Thursday, followed by a 72 on Friday, a 68 on Saturday and a 73 on Sunday. He was one of just five golfers in the 156-man field to have shot two rounds in the 60s.

UAB men's golf coach Alan Kaufman followed McDowell, a two-time All-American while at UAB, throughout the weekend, just as he did when McDowell claimed the 110th U.S. Open title at Pebble Beach in 2010.