GOLF: McDowell beaten in Match Play final in Spain

AKRON, OH - AUGUST 04:  Graham McDowell of Northern Ireland hits an approach shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational on the South Course at Firestone Country Club on August 4, 2011 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - AUGUST 04: Graham McDowell of Northern Ireland hits an approach shot on the 11th hole during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational on the South Course at Firestone Country Club on August 4, 2011 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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PORTRUSH golfer Graeme McDowell has missed out on the chance to be crowned World Match Play Champion after losing by a single hole to Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium in Sunday’s final in Andalucia.

The former Coleraine Inst pupil earned his place in the final with a two-hole victory over Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello, but it was Colsaerts who controlled proceedings during the final round.

After halving the first two holes, Colsaerts went one ahead with a superb eagle at the par-5 third.

McDowell clawed the deficit back at the fourth, only to see his opponent retake the lead with a birdie at the sixth.

Both players traded holes, but Colsaerts made the crucial breakthrough at holes 11 and 13, establishing a two hole lead.

McDowell won two of the next four holes - with both men halving the 15th - to set up a grandstand finish.

However, the former US Open Champion could not better Colsaerts’ score at the 18th with both players closing out the round with a level-par 5, allowing the Belgian to take the title