PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – A strong week at the Honda Classic was good enough to book Graeme McDowell a ticket to Miami.
McDowell shot a final-round 69 to finish alone in fifth place at PGA National, five shots behind Adam Scott. It was the Ulsterman’s best finish of 2016 and allowed him to remain inside the top 10 in the FedEx Cup points race.
That position earned McDowell a spot in next week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship, a provision that also applied to Smylie Kaufman, Fabian Gomez and Jason Dufner. A fifth addition to the field at Trump National Doral will be South Africa’s Jaco Van Zyl, who qualified via the world rankings.
“It’s big to be there, world ranking points to play for on a course which I like. Yeah, one step in the right direction,” McDowell said. “Nice to be back kind of where it happens and I really am very positive about a lot of aspects of my game.”
McDowell entered this week at No. 73 in the world rankings, a standing that will now improve. With a no-cut event looming next week, it’s another opportunity for the former U.S. Open champ to earn world-ranking points as he looks to crack the top 64 in time to qualify for next month’s WGC-Dell Match Play Championship.
McDowell qualified for the Masters via his win at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, and should he make the match-play field he will play a busy stretch of eight events in nine weeks through the Valero Texas Open.
“Really happy with a lot of things I’ve got going on. I feel like I can really have a big year this year,” he said. “Just stay patient with it and I did a good job doing that this week, and I’m going to keep working on that going forward.”