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Step forward Graeme McDowell, MBE

Graeme McDowell has been recognised in the New Year Honours List.

The Ryder Cup hotshot was awarded an MBE and said he was proud at being selected for the "unique acknowledgement".

He proved his mettle to bring home the cup at Celtic Manor with a decisive five-foot putt in the final match of the singles.

And now the 31-year-old is a Member of the Order of the British Empire - an achievement the Northern Irishman could hardly have envisaged when he began the year ranked 50th in the world.

His season began a dramatic upward trajectory when he became the first European in 40 years to win the US Open.

McDowell ends the year as the number six golfer in the world having secured a number of personal awards, including the US and European golf writers player of the year award.

"It is a huge honour for me to be included on the New Year Honours List," he said.

"For my achievements as a professional golfer to be recognised in this way is truly special. Both myself and my family are very proud of this unique acknowledgement."

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