Graeme McDowell MBE (born 30 July 1979) is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland who plays on both the PGA Tour and European Tour. He is well known for winning the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where he ended a 40-year drought for Europeans at the tournament.
McDowell in November 2012
|Full name||Graeme McDowell|
|Born||30 July 1979|
Portrush, County Antrim Northern Ireland
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||168 lb (76 kg; 12.0 st)|
|Residence||Orlando, Florida, U.S.|
|Spouse||Kristin Stape (2013-present)|
|Children||2 daughters, 1 son|
|College||University of Alabama at Birmingham|
|Current tour(s)||European Tour|
|Highest ranking||4 (16 January 2011)|
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||T12: 2012|
|PGA Championship||T10: 2009|
|U.S. Open||Won: 2010|
|The Open Championship||T5: 2012|
|Achievements and awards|
McDowell has won eleven events on the European Tour, and four on the PGA Tour. He has also represented Ireland at the World Cup and he has been a member of the European Ryder Cup team on four occasions. He has appeared in the top-10 in the Official World Golf Ranking and his best ranking position was 4th (January to March 2011).
McDowell was born in Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and played with Rathmore Golf Club since he was eight or nine years old. His uncle, Uel Loughery, coached him there when he was younger. At the age of 14, McDowell played senior cup for Rathmore.
In his teens he attended Coleraine Academical Institution. He then studied engineering at Queen's University in Belfast, then transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he played college golf through the spring of 2002.
As a senior with the Blazers in 2002, McDowell won six of twelve college events and the Haskins Award, given to the outstanding collegiate golfer in the United States. He was a member of the Great Britain and Ireland team which retained the Walker Cup in 2001 at Sea Island, Georgia.
That win led to McDowell being given honorary life membership at the Royal Portrush Golf Club. He did not win in his second season, but in 2004 he claimed the Telecom Italia Open and finished sixth on the European Tour's Order of Merit. In 2005, he divided his time between the European and U.S. PGA Tours.
McDowell managed two top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour, including a tie for second place at the Bay Hill Invitational, which enabled him to earn enough money to become fully exempt on the PGA Tour in 2006. He failed, however, to finish in the top-150 in the 2006 PGA Tour money list, and decided to return to the European Tour for 2007.
In 2008 he returned to the winner's enclosure by winning first the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea, and then the Barclays Scottish Open. He played in the 2008 Ryder Cup, earning 2.5 points for the European team and finished the season ranked fifth on the Order of Merit.
2010 U.S. Open winEdit
He was also the first player from the United Kingdom to win a major championship since Paul Lawrie won The Open Championship in 1999, and the first Northern Irishman to win a major since Fred Daly won the 1947 Open Championship.
McDowell embraced his father, Kenny, on Father's Day, and almost immediately called fellow golfer Rory McIlroy to joke about a possible partnership in the 2010 Ryder Cup. He celebrated with a large crowd, including fellow golfer Pádraig Harrington, in the United States.
The "famous win" set off "a brand new life" for McDowell, according to The Guardian's golf correspondent, Lawrence Donegan. The Daily Telegraph's Mark Reason opined: "The previous three tournaments in the United States have been won by Lee Westwood, Justin Rose [both English] and now McDowell. It's an unprecedented surge and America must feel like it is being invaded".
McDowell's manager, Conor Ridge, accepted bookings for American TV shows, such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as a cameo role in Entourage. Shortly after winning the U.S. Open, McDowell joined the PGA Tour and earned a five-year exemption for winning a major.
2010 Ryder Cup winEdit
On Monday, 4 October 2010, McDowell was charged with putting to win on the 17th green of the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. His was the last match of the 12 player singles, with his opponent being Hunter Mahan, to win the tournament 14.5/13.5 for Europe, and it was his 5-foot putt that was conceded to give victory to Europe.
Rest of 2010Edit
McDowell had a solid but unspectacular season in 2011 where he did not record a win on either of the main tours. He finished third on four occasions, three on the European Tour and once on the PGA Tour. McDowell finished the year 16th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai, his year consisting of 17 out of 18 cuts made and five top-10 finishes.
In May 2011, McDowell was in contention to win the PGA Tour's flagship event, The Players Championship, but shot a final round 79 to end his chances. He earned over a million dollars on the PGA Tour but could only finish the year 73rd in the FedEx Cup standings.
In March 2012, McDowell recorded his joint best finish on the PGA Tour outside of his U.S. Open win, when he finished as runner-up, five strokes behind Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This was the second time McDowell had been a runner-up on the PGA Tour. Two weeks later, McDowell had his best performance at The Masters, when he finished in a tie for 12th. He shot a final round of 68 to jump up inside the top 15.
McDowell was runner up in May 2012 at the Volvo World Match Play Championship at the Finca Cortesin Golf Club, losing the final 1 down to Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts. In a tight match, McDowell was never more than 2 down but was never in front in the match either.
After the match he admitted that the better player won and that he played poorly, shooting five over for the round. Previously in the knockout stages, McDowell had beaten Richard Finch 3&2, Sergio García on the 19th hole and Rafael Cabrera-Bello 2 up.
In June 2012, the U.S. Open returned to California, when it was held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, less than 100 miles from Pebble Beach, the site of McDowell's 2010 U.S. Open victory. Again he was in contention after rounds of 69-72-68 on the first three days had positioned him at one under for the championship.
He was tied for the lead going into the final day with Jim Furyk, both playing in the final group on Sunday. The second time in three years that McDowell had featured in the final group of the U.S. Open. Despite a disappointing front nine, where he found himself four over, he made several birdies on the back nine, including one on the 17th hole to trail by one shot with one hole to play.
After a good drive and approach to the green, he was faced with a 25-foot putt to tie the lead and force a playoff, but narrowly missed it to the left and had to settle for a par. This led to McDowell finishing in a tie for second place with Michael Thompson, one stroke behind the champion, Webb Simpson.
The following month, at the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, McDowell was in contention on Sunday for the second consecutive major. He had shot rounds of 67-69-67 during the first three days to be at seven under par and trail leader Adam Scott by four strokes in second place with Brandt Snedeker. McDowell played in the final group on Sunday for the second consecutive major championship and third time overall, alongside Scott. He had a disappointing round of 75 (+5) and was never in contention for the championship all afternoon. His challenge was ended at the par five 11th, when he snap hooked his second shot into the trees left and had to take a penalty drop, costing him a bogey. He finished the championship in a tie for 5th with fellow European Luke Donald. It was however his best ever placing at The Open Championship. In December, he won the World Challenge, beating Keegan Bradley by three shots.
McDowell started the season on the PGA Tour at the Northern Trust Open, where he shot 73-72 to miss the cut. He played the following week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and reached the quarter-finals. It was his best ever showing at the tournament, beating Pádraig Harrington 2-up, Alexander Norén in 20 holes and Shane Lowry 3&2, before losing 1-down to Jason Day in the quarter-finals.
McDowell played in The Honda Classic the week after and recorded his second consecutive top-10 with a T-9 finish. The next week he played in the final group with Tiger Woods in the WGC-Cadillac Championship and finished in a T-3 position. He missed the cut in the Masters Tournament by one stroke, bogeying the last hole. The next week he played the RBC Heritage. In the final round in stormy weather, he posted a two-under-par 69. He entered a playoff with fellow U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson. Simpson bogeyed the first hole and McDowell parred to win his first regular PGA Tour event and his first tour win since 2010.
The win moved him into 8th in the world rankings. In the 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship, he defeated Thongchai Jaidee, 2 & 1, to win. The win moved him to the top of the Race to Dubai and 7th in the world. He missed the cut in the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. In the 2013 U.S. Open he missed the cut; the event he had won in 2010. This was the first time that he had ever missed the cut in that event. In July 2013, he won the Alstom Open de France, shooting a final round of 67 to finish four shots ahead of Richard Sterne.
In 2014, McDowell continued to play on both the European Tour and PGA Tour. In the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship he made comebacks including winning the 18th in each of his first 3 matches before losing to eventual runner up Victor Dubuisson in the quarter finals.
McDowell followed this up with a top-10 finish at the second World Golf Championship of the season at the Cadillac Championship, before missing the cut at the first major of the year at the Masters.
Following this McDowell continued his good form at the Open Championship with a top-10 finish, and further top-10 finishes in his next two events at the RBC Canadian Open and the Bridgestone Invitational.
At the PGA Championship, McDowell made the cut finishing in a tie of 46th, subsequently competing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, however he failed to progress to the year end Tour Championship finishing outside the top-30 in 56th place.
At the Ryder Cup, he formed a successful partnership with former opponent Victor Dubuisson with comfortable wins the afternoon foursomes on Friday and Saturday. In the lead match of the Sunday singles, McDowell recovered from being 3 down to Jordan Spieth to win 2&1. With these wins Europe won the Ryder Cup.
McDowell subsequently competed in the Race to Dubai Final Series events on the European Tour including a tie for third in the HSBC Champions. McDowell finished 14th in the Race to Dubai rankings on the European Tour in 2014.
McDowell endured one of his worst years as a professional during the 2015 season. In fifteen events on the PGA Tour, McDowell made only eight cuts, with just one top five finish, coming in his first tournament of the year.
In this tournament, the WGC-HSBC Champions, he held the 18, 36 and 54 hole leads and began Sunday with a one stroke lead. He shot a final round of 73 and missed a birdie putt on the final hole, which would have earned him a place in the playoff. He finished the 2015 season at 160th in the FedEx Cup standings and was the first time he had missed out on qualifying for the playoffs since 2010.
In November 2015, McDowell won his third PGA Tour title at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He prevailed in a sudden death playoff over Jason Bohn and Russell Knox during a Monday finish to the tournament. He won with a birdie on the first extra hole after his five iron approach grazed the edge of the cup and left him with three-foot birdie putt. Knox then could only up and down for par, whilst Bohn missed an 18-foot birdie putt to extend the playoff. McDowell said afterwards that the win came at the end of a real grind in what was one of his worst calendar years as a professional.
In the 2015–16 PGA Tour season, McDowell won $2,596,170 and finished 27th in the season-long FedEx Cup race.
In the 2016–17 PGA Tour season, McDowell only had 4 top 10 finishes and finished 136th in the FedEx Cup.
In the 2017–18 PGA Tour season, McDowell struggled again and only won $581,024 and finished 144th in the FedEx Cup. This left him with limited status on the PGA Tour for the 2018–19 season.
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn named McDowell as a vice-captain for the European team at the 2018 Ryder Cup. In September 2018, Europe defeated the U.S. team 17½ points to 10½ at Le Golf National outside of Paris, France.
On 31 March 2019, McDowell won his fourth PGA Tour title at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.
On 9 June 2019, McDowell finished tied for 8th at the RBC Canadian Open and therefore qualified for the 2019 Open Championship, which was played at his home course Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
On 2 February 2020, McDowell won the Saudi International with a score of 12 under par. The victory marked his first title on the European Tour since 2014 and also improved his world ranking from 104 to 47.
McDowell comes from a mixed Catholic/Protestant family background, but was himself raised a Protestant. As he won the U.S. Open in 2010 he was living in a "bachelor pad" penthouse apartment in Portrush and was building a home in Lake Nona, Florida, United States. McDowell hired interior designer Kristin Stape to work on his Lake Nona house: subsequently the pair began dating, and were engaged in October 2012. The couple married in a small ceremony in the Bahamas in September 2013. Kristin gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl, in August 2014. She has a child from a previous relationship.
When quizzed on whether he'd represent Britain or Ireland at future Olympic events, McDowell stated: "I’m not bothered who I play for. I’ll be honoured to represent Britain or Ireland or both. I’m proud to play golf for Europe." On the subject of his nationality, he added: "Yes, I sit on the fence but why not? There’s no right or wrong answer. I’m always going to upset someone, so why not sit on the fence?" In the run up to the 2016 Olympics, when golf was reintroduced, Rory McIlroy (representing Ireland) withdrew from the tournament, leaving McDowell with the possibility of representing Ireland as their next highest ranked player. However, McDowell ruled this possibility out by opting out of the Olympics. He often travels and practises with Rory McIlroy and Pádraig Harrington.
McDowell is a devoted Manchester United fan. In the buildup to the 2011 Masters Tournament he skipped the annual par-3 contest in order to watch a UEFA Champions League clash between United and Chelsea.
In June 2011, McDowell received an honorary doctorate (D.Sc) from the University of Ulster for his services to golf. He received his honorary degree from the University's Chancellor, the actor James Nesbitt on its Coleraine campus and in his speech to graduates, urged them to set their goals high in their careers and trust their intuition.
Amateur wins (6)Edit
- 1996 Ulster Boys Championship
- 1999 Irish Youths Championship
- 2000 Irish Amateur Close Championship, Irish Youths Championship, World Universities Championship, South of Ireland Championship
Professional wins (16)Edit
PGA Tour wins (4)Edit
|Major championships (1)|
|Other PGA Tour (3)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of
|1||20 Jun 2010||U.S. Open||71-68-71-74=284||E||1 stroke||Grégory Havret|
|2||21 Apr 2013||RBC Heritage||71-67-68-69=275||−9||Playoff||Webb Simpson|
|3||16 Nov 2015||OHL Classic at Mayakoba||67-63-70-66=266||−18||Playoff||Jason Bohn, Russell Knox|
|4||31 Mar 2019||Corales Puntacana Resort
and Club Championship
|73-64-64-69=270||−18||1 stroke||Mackenzie Hughes, Chris Stroud|
PGA Tour playoff record (2–0)
|1||2013||RBC Heritage||Webb Simpson||Won with par on first extra hole|
|2||2015||OHL Classic at Mayakoba||Jason Bohn, Russell Knox||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
European Tour wins (11)Edit
|Major championships (1)|
|Other European Tour (10)|
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of
|1||4 Aug 2002||Volvo Scandinavian Masters||64-73-66-67=270||−14||1 stroke||Trevor Immelman|
|2||3 May 2004||Telecom Italia Open||67-65-65=197*||−19||Playoff||Thomas Levet|
|3||16 Mar 2008||Ballantine's Championship1||68-64-66-66=264||−24||Playoff||Jeev Milkha Singh|
|4||13 Jul 2008||Barclays Scottish Open||67-70-66-68=271||−13||2 strokes||James Kingston|
|5||6 Jun 2010||Celtic Manor Wales Open||72-70-64-63=269||−15||3 strokes||Rhys Davies|
|6||20 Jun 2010||U.S. Open||71-68-71-74=284||E||1 stroke||Grégory Havret|
|7||31 Oct 2010||Andalucía Valderrama Masters||68-67-72-74=281||−3||2 strokes|| Søren Kjeldsen, Gareth Maybin,|
|8||19 May 2013||Volvo World Match Play Championship||2 & 1||Thongchai Jaidee|
|9||7 Jul 2013||Alstom Open de France||69-69-70-67=275||−9||4 strokes||Richard Sterne|
|10||6 Jul 2014||Alstom Open de France (2)||70-69-73-67=279||−5||1 stroke||Thongchai Jaidee, Kevin Stadler|
|11||2 Feb 2020||Saudi International||64-68-66-70=268||−12||2 strokes||Dustin Johnson|
European Tour playoff record (2–1)
|1||2004||Telecom Italia Open||Thomas Levet||Won with par on fourth extra hole|
|2||2004||Dunhill Links Championship||Stephen Gallacher||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|3||2008||Ballantine's Championship||Jeev Milkha Singh||Won with birdie on third extra hole|
Asian Tour wins (1)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of
|1||16 Mar 2008||Ballantine's Championship1||68-64-66-66=264||−24||Playoff||Jeev Milkha Singh|
Asian Tour playoff record (1–0)
|1||2008||Ballantine's Championship||Jeev Milkha Singh||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
Other wins (2)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of
|1||5 Dec 2010||Chevron World Challenge||66-69-68-69=272||−16||Playoff||Tiger Woods|
|2||2 Dec 2012||World Challenge (2)||69-66-68-68=271||−17||3 strokes||Keegan Bradley|
Other playoff record (1–0)
|1||2010||Chevron World Challenge||Tiger Woods||Won with birdie on first extra hole|
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|2010||U.S. Open||3 shot deficit||E (71-68-71-74=284)||1 stroke||Grégory Havret|
|The Open Championship||CUT||T11||T61||CUT||T19||T34|
|The Open Championship||T23||CUT||T5||T58||T9||T49||T63|
|The Open Championship||T57|
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||1||2||5||14||11|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (2008 Open Championship – 2009 PGA)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (2012 U.S. Open – 2012 Open Championship)
Results in The Players ChampionshipEdit
|The Players Championship||T40||78||T26||T33||CUT||CUT||T62||T56||T9||T69|
CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Results in World Golf ChampionshipsEdit
Results not in chronological order before 2015.
1Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
WD = Withdrew
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
NT = no tournament
"T" = tied
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.
- Palmer Cup: (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 2000 (winners), 2001
- Walker Cup (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 2001 (winners)
- Seve Trophy: (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 2005 (winners), 2009 (winners)
- Royal Trophy (representing Europe): 2006 (winners)
- Ryder Cup (representing Europe): 2008, 2010 (winners), 2012 (winners), 2014 (winners)
- Record: 15 matches, 9 points (60% Point Percentage)
- All Formats (W–L–H): 8–5–2 = 9 pts
- Singles: 3–1–0 = 3 pts
- Foursomes: 4–2–2 = 5 pts
- Fourballs: 1–2–0 = 1 pt
- World Cup (representing Ireland): 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016
- EurAsia Cup (representing Europe): 2014
- "Week 03 2011 Ending 16 Jan 2011" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- Murphy, Una (22 June 2010). "Golf buddies pay tribute to McDowell". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
Graeme is a Portrush man and in terms of golf, he is Irish. He is with the Irish professional golf team – it's the same as the rugby.
- Donegan, Lawrence (10 July 2010). "Graeme McDowell is on a mission to prove he is no one-hit wonder". The Observer.
- Gallagher, Paul (22 June 2010). "Local lad is the toast of Portrush and Rathmore Golf clubs". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
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- Donegan, Lawrence (21 June 2010). "Graeme McDowell has the steely calm to build on his US Open victory". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
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- Week 25 – Graeme McDowell Wins The US Open At Pebble Beach And Jumps To World Number 13 Archived 12 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Keogh, Brian (22 June 2010). "McDowell sets sights on Ryder Cup glory". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Graeme McDowell town set for victory party". The Belfast Telegraph. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
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- "Graeme McDowell beats Tiger Woods in Chevron play-off". BBC Sport. 5 December 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- Historic Joint Award For Kaymer and McDowell
- Shain, Jeff (16 July 2019). "Graeme McDowell Makes It Home, but Just Barely". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
- "Graeme McDowell earns third win of 2013 with French Open triumph". BBC Sport. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- Corrigan, James (22 February 2014). "WGC Matchplay 2014: Graeme McDowell's brave charge ends with defeat to young Frenchman Victor Dubuisson". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "WGC-Cadillac Championship: Patrick Reed wins by one shot". BBC Sport. 9 March 2014.
- "Masters: Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke make cut but Graeme McDowell out as Bubba Watson leads". The Belfast Telegraph. Belfast. 12 April 2014.
- "Graeme McDowell 'robbed' at Irish Open as his putting goes astray". The Daily Express. London. 23 June 2014.
- Casey, Phil (6 July 2014). "French Open 2014: Graeme McDowell cuts a late dash to retain title". The Independent. London.
- Hodgetts, Rob (20 July 2014). "Rory McIlroy wins third major title at 2014 Open Championship". BBC Sport.
- "Graeme McDowell ties for ninth place at Canadian Open". BBC Sport. 28 July 2014.
- Corrigan, James (4 August 2014). "Rory McIlroy wins WGC Bridgestone Invitational and marches back to world No 1 spot in form of his life". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "2014 FedEx Cup Standings". PGA Tour. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- "Ryder Cup: Stephen Gallacher fails to qualify at Italian Open". BBC Sport. 31 August 2014.
- "Ryder Cup 2014: Europe take 5-3 lead over United States". BBC Sport. 26 September 2014.
- Liew, Jonathan (27 September 2014). "Victor Dubuisson, Europe's unknown quantity, makes a Ryder Cup name for himself in spectacular style". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Mell, Randall (28 September 2014). "McDowell rallies to beat Spieth on anniversary". Golf Channel. Archived from the original on 30 September 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- Casey, Phil (9 November 2014). "Bubba Watson overturns Graeme McDowell's lead to win the WGC-HSBC Champions after frantic finish in Shanghai". The Daily Mail. London.
- "European Tour Race to Dubai". European Tour. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- "McDowell wins 3-man playoff at OHL Classic". PGA Tour. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- "Graeme McDowell happy to join the queue for Ryder Cup captaincy". Irish Examiner. 1 October 2018.
- "McDowell blooms in desert with two-shot Saudi International win". Irish Golf Desk. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
- "McDowell 'sitting on fence over' nationality" The Newsletter 22 September 2012
- Stanage, Niall (10 July 2011). "Northern Ireland's McIlroy Transcends Boundaries". The New York Times.
- Coleman, Maureen (28 September 2013). "Graeme McDowell to marry Kristin Stape in intimate Bahamas service". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- Porter, Kyle (1 October 2013). "Graeme McDowell got married last weekend and Rory McIlroy didn't go". CBS Sports. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- Williamson, Claire (26 August 2014). "Baby joy for Graeme McDowell and wife Kristin Stape". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- McGinty, Karl (29 June 2010). "McDowell happy 'on the fence'". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 2 July 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Graeme McDowell will not replace Rory McIlroy at Rio Olympics for Ireland". BBC Sport. 23 June 2016.
- "No. 59647". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2010. p. 19.
- McDowell quickly silences questions over new equipment Archived 6 September 2012 at Archive.today
- The Face of Ireland Archived 5 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- McDowell skips par 3 tournament to watch United
- University of Ulster To Honour High Achievers Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Set Your Goals High, McDowell Tells Students Archived 25 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "About". Nona Blue.