Northern Ireland

Ministers congratulate Graeme McDowell on Open win

Graeme McDowell
Image caption McDowell is a five-time winner on the European Tour

The Northern Ireland first and deputy first minister have congratulated golfer Graeme McDowell on winning the US Open.

He became Europe's first US Open champion for 40 years when he clinched his maiden major title at Pebble Beach.

Peter Robinson said: "Winning the US Open is an outstanding achievement."

Martin McGuinness said: "Graeme has once again shown that our local sporting talent is of a world class standard."

McDowell, who comes from Portrush, becomes the first man from Northern Ireland to win a major since Fred Daly clinched the British Open at Hoylake in 1947.

On Monday, NI sports minister Nelson McCausland said he was "absolutely delighted for Graeme on his outstanding victory in one of the biggest tournaments in world golf".

The DUP MP Gregory Campbell and UUP assembly member David McClarty have also congratulated the Portrush golfer on the win.

Mr Campbell said: "Northern Ireland now boasts three of the best golfers in the world in Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and current US Open champion Graeme McDowell which is an tremendous success here, given the size of Northern Ireland.

Achievement

"I have tabled a motion in the House of Commons noting the outstanding achievement of Graeme McDowell and for Northern Ireland a country of its size having three of the world's best golfers."

Mr McClarty said: "Graeme has made history through this landmark win, becoming Europe's first US Open champion for 40 years and the first Ulsterman to win one of golf's 'Majors' since 1947.

Meanwhile, SDLP assembly member John Dallat has called for a civic reception at Stormont for Graeme McDowell.

He said he had written to Sports Minister Nelson McCausland proposing a reception is held "to mark Graeme's exploits that have once again put Ireland on the world golfing map".

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