US Open winner Graeme McDowell today declared he was back in business after a two-week blow-out celebrating his big win.
On his comeback to tournament play, at the JP McManus Pro-Am at Limerick’s Adare Castle, the 30-year-old admitted doing little other than partying since securing his first major championship.
Proudly sitting next to the US Open trophy, he joked it has already been involved in a few near scrapes.
“There’s been a few worrying moments,” he said.
“It’s been in a few bars and restaurants in the small hours of the morning, but I guess I always comfort myself with the fact that it has been to some parties over the years.
“I’d say she could tell a few good stories at this stage.”
McDowell said he had not really practised during the last two weeks bar a game with fellow top Irish professional Rory McIlroy at Royal Co Down and a game with his father and brother at his home club in Rathmore.
The golfer said he was taking time out to enjoy a few pints of Guinness and a few glasses of wine as he acclimatised to being “less anonymous” than he used to be.
But he insisted his “business head” was now firmly screwed on as he prepared for this week’s Scottish Open at Loch Lomond and then the British Open at St Andrews.
“It honestly feels like two months ago when I holed that winning putt at Pebble Beach,” he said.
“You’ve got to enjoy it – but at some point you’ve got to get the business head back on.
“That process began this morning.”
McDowell said he was overwhelmed by messages of congratulations, including one from Downing Street in which British Prime Minister David Cameron asked if he would help him improve his game.
Messages from former world number one golfer Ernie Els and actor Jimmy Nesbitt were also among those still being sifted through by his father Kenny.
JP McManus and his wife Noreen presented McDowell with a special glass memento to mark his becoming the first European to win the US Open in 40 years.