Graeme McDowell insists a taste of Turkish delight this week could transform his year.
The former US Open champion has crashed from 15th to 80th and insists he will write off the European Tour season and turn his attention to the last two Falls Series events on the year in the US if he fails to grab a top-two finish on his debut in this week’s Turkish Airlines Open.
He could be facing a difficult 2016 if he remains outside the world’s Top 50 in a Ryder Cup year. But he honestly believes he’s slowly turning the corner with his game and reckons one good finish somewhere in the world over the the next month will put a different complexion on what’s been a 2015 campaign to forget. “I’d take a top five and a top 10 over these next three or four weeks here and sit down over my Christmas dinner and say, alright, not my best year but we are still where we need to be and we are ready to go, ” McDowell said.
Ranked 64th in the Race to Dubai and needing only a modest finish to make the Top 60 who qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, McDowell has set his sights far higher.
“Obviously I am not in the DP World Tour Championship right now,” McDowell said. “But if I had a big week this week, it would change things.
“If I don’t make a serious impact and I can’t get myself into the top-20 in the Race to Dubai from this week, I am not really going to pursue it because the Earth Course in Dubai is not really a good golf course for me anyway.”
Reunited with his old “fundamentals” coach Clive Tucker as well as current swing fixer Pete Cowen, he added: “I am highly motivated and I really felt like I have turned the corner so I am just trying to remain very patient and take each week as it comes.
“I think the US PGA at Whistling Straits was the end of my patience. I played the first 27 holes as good as I can possibly hit the golf ball, and nine holes later I was packing my bags.
“That was the end of my patience there but after five weeks off, I think I have been a different person on the golf course ever since — very relaxed and starting to enjoy the game.” “It is hard to relax and let it happen when you haven’t really had it happen much lately. But we’re getting there.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved