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Howell ends long winless drought at Dunhill Links

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The Canadian Press
9/29/2013 2:53:06 PM
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ST. ANDREWS -- England's David Howell ended a seven-year winless drought with a playoff victory over American Peter Uihlein to capture the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday.

The former Ryder Cup player birdied the second extra hole with a 12-foot putt to defeat Uihlein.

Both players had ended regulation play on 23-under par on the Old Course with Howell shooting 5-under 67 and Uihlein 3-under 69.

"To nail that birdie putt to win is pretty sweet," Howell said. "I was zero and 5 in playoffs so I felt as though I deserved one."

Howell beat Tiger Woods in 2006 to win the inaugural HSBC Champions event and has played more than 200 tournaments since his last victory in the BMW Championship later that year.

England's Tom Lewis (64) and Ireland's Shane Lowry (68) shared third place at 22 under.

Howell began the final round two strokes behind Uihlein but then burst into contention with five birdies in his opening seven holes, including four in succession from the fourth hole.

However, Howell played the last nine in par while Uihlein, competing in the event for a first occasion, also stalled in completing his inward nine in 1-under.

Both players parred the first extra hole before Howell sealed a fifth European Tour victory.

"Hats off to David, (he) played great, made a nice birdie," said Uihlein. "He made more putts than I did at the end of the day."

Howell's win moves him back into the world's top 100 and also to 12th in the Race to Dubai, qualifying him for the European Tour's end-of-season final series for the first time in his career.

"It's a dream to be back in the big time as it's been a long, long road from the depths of despair to get here today," Howell said.

Uihlein, who was looking to become the first American to win the tournament, moved to 10th on the Race to Dubai.

Frenchman Thomas Levet and amateur David Sayer won the pro-am team event with a 40-under tally.

Howell was teamed with actor Hugh Grant and joked afterward: "We have been a terrible partnership in this event."

The pair tied 9th on 33-under.

David Howell (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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