McDowell sets sights on Ryder Cup glory
By Brian Keogh
WATCH out America.
Now that Graeme McDowell has the US Open trophy, he wants the Ryder Cup back too.
Almost the first call the 30 year old superstar made when he got a chance to catch his breath on Sunday night was to his probable Ryder Cup partner Rory McIlroy.
McDowell made the call as he headed to Brophy’s Tavern in nearby Carmel on Sunday night, where a massive Irish crowd including Pádraig Harrington was waiting to celebrate.
Chuckling down the phone, McDowell said: “What do you want kid? Odds or evens.”
They weren’t speaking in code but already joking about their probably Ryder Cup partnership at Celtic Manor and who will hit first on the odd or even numbered holes in the foursomes.
Calling out to manager Conor Ridge, who was riding up front, McDowell said: “I am locked in for the Ryder Cup, right?”
Ridge couldn’t believe his ears as he fielded requests for interviews and set up an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night and a cameo appearance in the hit series Entourage later today before flying home to Belfast.
Ridge laughed: “Are you serious? Of course you’re a lock. You’re nearly top of the standings.”
McDowell also took time out to apologise to McIlroy in case he was upset that elements of the British press jumped on McDowell’s Friday night comments on his failure to make the cut. McDowell knew he’d put his foot in it the minute he said that McIlroy’s lack of experience and his grip it and rip it style was always going to make it tough to win a US Open.
He meant that he was surprised McIlroy missed the cut by three shots, adding that it was always a shock to him that the Holywood star didn’t win every week.
“I meant it as constructive criticism but I knew the minute I said it that they would jump on the negative,” McDowell said.
“I called Rory to explain what happened and he was fine about it. He knew where I was coming from.”
The Ryder Cup is a massive objective for McDowell, who hated losing to the US side on his debut at Valhalla two years ago.
“That’s a real special spin off from this. I have always talked about major championships and Ryder Cups and said they will define my career.
“Did I think I was ever going to be able to define my career with them? No, I didn’t. I have won my first major. I hope to win more of them but obviously but I am going to enjoy this moment to the nth degree. I am really excited to go to Wales under Monty and be part of an unbelievably strong European team.
“I am going to be excited to get home and represent myself as a major champion and be a major factor as part of the Ryder Cup team and go there and win the trophy back.
“I am just so excited to be standing here with this trophy and everything that goes with it. It is such a big boost to my career and my confidence and I will be looking forward to the future,” said McDowell.
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