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USPGA Tour World Challenge: Sherwood win adds gloss to McDowell's happy state

After two years of golfing frustration and an absence from the winner's circle despite several close calls, life has just got much better for Graeme McDowell in recent weeks, both on and off the course.

The ever-popular Northern Irishman announced his engagement to Kristin Stape last month in Dubai and on Sunday he triumphed by three shots in the World Challenge at Thousand Oaks, California, hosted by Tiger Woods.

For the next 10 weeks, he will enjoy a well-earned break with his wife-to-be in their new home in Orlando, Florida while he completes the finishing touches to his own tavern outside the gates of Lake Nona, which he plans to open early next year.

"It's been a very fun week," McDowell told reporters after holding off playing partner Keegan Bradley with a closing four-under-par 68 at a rain-soaked Sherwood Country Club.

"For two years I've been saying things like 'processes' and 'trying to get better' and 'be patient' and, hopefully, the wins will come. I guess I got fed up with telling everybody that I'm playing well.

"I'm relieved to finally get across the line and take some confidence into this little off-period that I've got coming up. It really is about the processes, but we need to win. That's why we're out here."

California has been a happy hunting ground for McDowell who has twice won the World Challenge at Sherwood and clinched his first major title in the 2010 US Open held at Pebble Beach.

He was especially happy, though, that his fiancee was able to fly into the "Golden State" on Friday and watch him seal victory in the elite 18-man event where every player was ranked in the world's top 35.

"Hopefully, this is the first of many," McDowell said with a smile. "Getting engaged three or four weeks ago was a huge step in my life, and this has really made it a lot of fun.

"I certainly enter a new chapter in my life which I feel is going to bring a lot of solidity and support to my golf career and this is a great way to begin it.

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