McDowell looks to ‘sharpen up’ at Austrian Open

US OPEN champion Graeme McDowell admits he is rusty after a month-long break but hopes to tune up for next month’s Ryder Cup with a good performance this week.

The Irishman tees off in the Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg today – his only competitive event before appearing at Celtic Manor.

McDowell accepts his game may not be in top shape but his mind is refreshed, having had to get used to the demands placed on a major winner after his victory at Pebble Beach nearly three months ago.

“Since the USPGA Championship I’ve had four weeks’ rest after a very busy spring and summer,” McDowell said.

“I needed some rest and time away but now I need to play competitive golf before the Ryder Cup to sharpen up.

“I’ve averaged about 30 minutes of practice each day – the last month has been about getting my head refreshed. From now until the end of the season I’ll be working very hard so it was important to recharge my batteries.”

The 31-year-old added: “Although I have not played competitively since Whistling Straits over four weeks ago, I am hoping I will be sharp enough to compete here this week. Obviously my game will be rusty, but like every tournament I enter, I am here to win. After this week, my next sample of competitive golf will be on the first tee at Celtic Manor at the Ryder Cup, so I am hoping four decent rounds here will have me in good shape come October 1.”


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