The Ulsterman who scored the winning putt for Europe at the Ryder Cup has revealed that his sick mother was his main inspiration during the intense championship last week. McDowell’s mum Marian who is battling Multiple Sclerosis watched him play at the Celtic Manor in Wales for the first time in five years.

McDowell told The Sun newspaper how much it meant to him to have his mother present. "My mum has been fighting a mild form of MS for a while now and it's at least five years since she was able to get to a course to watch me play.”

He added that the strength she continues to display throughout her illness was his main inspiration. "She was at Celtic Manor - being driven around in a buggy - and that made me feel fantastic and even more determined to win. If you could see the way she has been handling the illness, you would know exactly where I get my mental toughness from. It definitely comes from her because she is such a battler,” he said.

McDowell admitted that after the initial excitement had worn off he got some time alone with his mother to reflect on the win. "I couldn't get over to her when I won my match on the 17th as it was mayhem, with the crowds mobbing us and practically drowning us in champagne. But we had a quiet moment back at the clubhouse about an hour later and told each other how proud we both felt. It was lovely to share that."

McDowell, 30 admitted his family are an important part if his life. “I'm very close to my family and it meant so much to have my parents here," he said. He has a home close to his parent’s hose in Portrush, Co.Antrim.