Graeme McDowell Wins the 2010 U.S. Open Golf Championship

In a U.S. Open with golf's biggest stars on the leaderboard, it was Graeme McDowell who played like one.

McDowell seized control after a shocking collapse by Dustin Johnson, then failed to get flustered with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els lined up behind him. The 30-year-old from Northern Ireland wasn't perfect, but he was good enough.

He closed with a 3-over 74 to become the first European in 40 years to capture the U.S. Open, getting an embrace on the 18th green from his father.

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland closed with a 3-over 74 to become the first European in 40 years to capture the U.S. Open.

McDowell seized control after a shocking collapse by Dustin Johnson, then failed to get flustered with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els lined up behind him.

McDowell's father was waiting to embrace him on the 18th green.

"You're something, kid," Kenny McDowell said.

Graeme McDowell doesn't have the golfing pedigree of a U.S. Open champion at Pebble Beach.

All he had Sunday was the game it takes to win.

Even as the biggest stars -- Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els -- were lined up behind him on the leaderboard and poised to contribute to the lineage of champions on this majestic course, McDowell never felt out of place.

Despite making only one birdie in the final round, the 30-year-old from Northern Ireland was steady amid the stars of his generation and closed with a 3-over 74 to become the first European in 40 years to capture America's national championship.

Graeme McDowell of Nothern Ireland held on to a one shot lead, to become the first European to win the U.S. Open since 1970.
"It's an absolute dream come true. I've dreamed this my entire life," said McDowell after his last hole.
McDowell shot a 3-over 74 on a difficult Sunday at Pebble Beach getting an embrace on the 18th green from his father, who spoke for thousands who watched this unlikely Open unfold along the Pacific coastline.