Graeme McDowell will put his Volvo World Matchplay final disappointment behind him at Wentworth tomorrow as he kick-starts a summer of big-time tournaments at the BMW PGA Championship.
For the world number 18 from Portrush, playing this week’s flagship event on the European Tour marks the beginning of a run of prestige tournaments that get the 2010 US Open champion’s competitive juices flowing, taking McDowell from Wentworth to the US Open to the Irish Open and then the British Open Championship over the next eight weeks.
And, he said, there was no better place to start the run than the famous West Course in the BMW PGA.
“This place has a real big-time feel this week, with the crowds and the scale of the event,” McDowell said in the Surrey sunshine yesterday.
“This is big-time golf, the first time back on British soil this year. This is such a great event I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It’s just a fantastic tournament and I love coming here.
“There’s nothing but great events from here all the way through to the FedEx Cup play-offs and the Ryder Cup. There’s nothing but great golf ahead. My schedule is great and I’m feeling really, really good about the way I’m playing. I’ve just got to stay patient and let the results come.”
McDowell came close on Sunday to his first victory since that breakout year in 2010 when, in addition to his first major, he won three other tournaments and was the toast of Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Celtic Manor. Despite a dogged effort at Finca Cortesin in Spain, he was bettered by big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts in the matchplay final but he is staying positive about the experience.
Leaving behind the wind in Spain, along with yesterday’s fitting session for Ryder Cup uniforms ahead of this September’s defence against the USA at Medinah in September, has helped keep McDowell in a sunny disposition ahead of tomorrow’s first round.
“When the sun shines at Wentworth, it’s always a fantastic occasion with big crowds. This golf course has not been a happy hunting ground for me but since the changes have been made to the course, I think it sets up better and better for me. So I’ve high hopes of doing well here this week.
“It’s all good. The schedule’s good and this is the first week of it. Bring it on, I’m looking forward to it.”
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