Anchor role stunned McDowell

RYDER CUP hero Graeme McDowell admitted yesterday that he nearly spoke up when he heard he was down for the anchor role at Celtic Manor on Monday.

“I was on the verge of saying something,” said the Irishman whose win over Hunter Mahan won the trophy back for Europe.

“I think I had a blank look on my face and I remember Thomas Bjorn saying to me ‘GMac, you okay?’

“Paul McGinley (another vice-captain) asked me the night before where I might want to play and I don’t know how honest I was when I said ‘Put me anywhere.’

“When Monty read out the order I was going to ask – and I did ask later - ‘What do I do? How do I go about doing this?’

“I guess I knew the answer. It was all about trying to win my point and not look at the boards.”

McDowell also recalled what he thought when he was told that Edoardo Molinari had lost the last three holes to Rickie Fowler for only a half.

“Colin was there and asked if I wanted to know. I said ‘I don’t know. Do you want to tell me?’

“He said ’You need to win.’ I thought ‘S***!’ But I don’t think anything could have made me feel more nervous at the time anyway.”

Meanwhile, McDowell has confirmed that he will be taking up US Tour membership next season.

The 30-year-old was a member earlier in his career but added: “I took my card in 2006 and then got injured at the start of that season so never really got a chance to experience it.

“I want to give it a go next year because it’s a non-Ryder Cup year.”

Meanwhile Lee Westwood starts his bid for the world number one spot in Scotland today after making one of the biggest decisions of his career – to not join the US Tour next year.

A week that began with him becoming a Ryder Cup winner for the fifth time in seven matches will end with him deposing Tiger Woods if he can finish first or second at the Dunhill Links Championship.

But, whether he achieves that goal or not, the 37-year-old is putting family first and turning his back on the fortunes on offer in America.

Jim Furyk, for instance, earned more than £7million for winning the FedEx Cup play-offs a fortnight ago, but it simply does not interest Westwood.

Westwood said: “The FedEx Cup sits right in the middle of the kids’ summer holidays and I like going on holiday with them.

“I don’t want to be dictated to by having to go to America to play the FedEx Cup when it doesn’t really mean that much to me. It doesn’t mean enough to me anyway.”


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