Graeme McDowell: The day I became world class





Graeme McDowell The Day I Became World Class

The road to becoming a world class athlete was not easy for Graeme McDowell, making his place at the elite table of golf well-deserved, as proven by the 63, 64 finish in the June Wales Open and his US Open title.
It was undoubtedly an unbelievable year for McDowell who was named as one of the favorites in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, named together with Martin Kaymer as joint European Tour player of the year, face d0wn Tiger Woods at his own tournament and clinched the Ryder Cup for Europe.
“The weekend of the Wales Open, two weeks before the US Open, and the way I played that weekend was probably the best that I have ever played,” he said.
“I think I was five, six shots behind going into the weekend and I shot 63, 64 over that weekend. Something just flipped that week and I suddenly felt that all the hard work had come together.
“I felt totally in control of the golf ball, I felt totally in control of myself and I took that with me a couple of weeks later coming down the stretch I felt so emotionally in control and I felt very ready.
“That weekend at Celtic Manor was definitely a life-changing weekend for me from the point of view that I felt I belonged in the upper echelons of the game.
“That’s what this game’s all about. This game’s about confidence, this game’s about belief and I’ve had a lot of both of those things this year.” Although success came early to McDowell — he won the Scandinavian Open in just his fourth start on the European Tour — he couldn’t take his game to the next level.
McDowell could have easily lived an easy life earning at least a million every year while on Tour. However, his will to succeed led to his drastic action of replacing his manager Chubby Chandler with the fledgling Horizon based in Dublin.
“It’s been an amazing season for me. There’s been some big highlights,” he says.
“It’s very difficult to pick out one when you have such dream highlights in one season. The US Open for one, just a major ambition, to be out there at Pebble Beach on Father’s Day with my dad Kenny there was just an amazing script really. The Ryder Cup is just something different, the tournament itself is just different class I love it so much.
“To have the opportunity to be the last guy and get the winning point was extra special, you know, and I mean a couple of days ago to take down Tiger Woods in his own tournament on the last day with a four-shot deficit was a pretty sweet way to end the year.”