G-Mac favourite to land Match Play crown

Graeme McDowell is the firm 4/9 outright favourite with Betfred to win the Volvo World Match Play Championship when he takes on Thongchai Jaidee in the final later after seeing off Branden Grace 3&2 in the semi-final.

The Northern Irishman is through to the final of the event for the second year running and will hope to do better than 12 months ago when he lost to Ryder Cup team-mate Nicolas Colsaerts, the man he beat in this year’s quarter-finals.

McDowell was eight-under-par for the 16 holes required to edge out South African Grace at Thracian Cliffs, and is tipped to have too much for Thai star Jaidee later in Bulgaria.

Jaidee, rated a 7/4 shot to win the final, booked his place against McDowell with a victory over another South African, Thomas Aiken, by the same 3&2 scoreline.

McDowell looks in good shape as he began brilliantly against Grace, pitching to two feet for a birdie at the first and holing from 18ft for a similar outcome on the third.

After conceding Grace’s birdie putt on the fourth, McDowell then holed from distance to halve the hole and then edged three up with another birdie at the next.

The Ryder Cup star eventually sealed victory with four birdies out of five after the 11th and will now aim for a similar performance against Jaidee to claim the title he nearly secured in 2012.

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