McDowell keen to contend

Graeme McDowell is hoping to rediscover the form that made him US Open champion at this week’s Irish Open.

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell is hoping to rediscover the form that made him US Open champion when he tees it up at the Irish Open this week.

McDowell won the Wales Open and then his first major title in successive weeks in June and has admitted that his triumph at Pebble Beach – and the celebrations afterwards – took some getting over.

The World number 11 finished a satisfactory if unspectacular 21st and 23rd on his subsequent starts at the Scottish Open and Open Championship, but is looking to contend again at Killarney.

He told Sky Sports News: “I had a nice chilled-out week at home last week and I am feeling a lot fresher and really ready to go.

“I’m looking forward to a good test this week, my Irish Open record isn’t outstanding so I’m certainly down here really trying hard and hopefully competing at the weekend.”

McDowell’s best finish in an Irish Open is 11th and he has missed four cuts in his last seven starts.

“Someone emailed my website and said ‘you’ve won the Scottish Open and the Welsh open, how about playing half-decent in the Irish Open for a change?'”

After Ireland, McDowell will play in the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio, then attempt to add to his major collection in the USPGA at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

“I’ve got three big weeks coming up, then I’ll take some time off and get ready for a strong end to the season,” he said.

“I am leading the Race to Dubai – it is important for me that I try to compete and do well in that, and obviously the Ryder Cup in Wales in October is something I’m really looking forward to doing well in.”