Tuesday 25 October 2016

Kisner holds off McDowell's challenge in Sea Island

William S Callahan

Published 23/11/2015 | 02:30

McDowell ended the day on 12-under-par
McDowell ended the day on 12-under-par

Graeme McDowell came up short in the RSM Open at Sea Island, Georgia as overnight leader Kevin Kisner of the USA controlled the tournament from start to finish of the final round.

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Kisner played alongside McDowell and Kevin Chappell in the final three-ball of the day and it was up to the latter two to find a way to reel the leader back to them.

That was not going to happen as Kisner, 31, finally broke his PGA Tour hoodoo after three play-off defeats in his career. He started the day on 16-under par, three shots ahead of Chappell and four clear of McDowell and shot 64 for 260, 22-under par. Kevin Chappell's 67 was good enough for second place on 16-under, while McDowell's 67 and 15-under par left him in solo third.

The Portrush native could still be well satisfied after winning the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico in a play-off last Monday and staying competitive right to the finish in Sea Island, although Kisner never faltered throughout the round.

At the end of the tournament, McDowell could reflect on a positive end to a season during which he spent most of his time seeking a consistent rhythm and struggling with his putting.

In July, at the Canadian Open, he felt particularly discouraged by his form.

"The Canadian Open was a strange one. I couldn't get the ball in the fairway off the tee. I was hitting a lot of 3-woods.

"That was kind of one of the times the boat kind of hit rock bottom. It's been a long road back from there.

"I've been working really, really hard, and thankfully I've got some good people around me that help me keep believing and trusting and working," he said.

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