McDowell stunned by Congressional

Irishman Graeme McDowell, first winner of the title for Europe since it was won in 1970 by Tony Jacklin, saw the course where he is set to defend in next month’s US Open, saw how difficult it was and hoped that it will change when he returns.

McDowell said the Congressional front nine near Washington “beat me up” and that the 523-yard par four18th is “probably the toughest hole I’ve maybe ever played”.

He hopes the second major of the year will not use all the back tees because if they will be used, the course will be a par 71 and will measure nearly 7,600.

The par four, 494-yard 11th was out of reach to McDowell even with a three-wood second up the hill and a good drive.

“I’m hoping I’ve got the wrong tee. If they’re selling four fours that week I’ll buy them for plenty.”

“Tough to say at this point if the golf course suits my game. I mean it was long this morning. I’m hoping it’s going to firm up a little bit. Of course the US Open is always a premium on accuracy, but out there this morning there was certainly a premium on distance as well.”

“I’ve been off the boil for a couple months. I haven’t been very happy with my game, my long game especially, and I’m certainly experiencing a bit of the rougher side of the game at the minute.

It was all so easy there at the end of the last season and the start of this year. The game can beat you up sometimes and I’m certainly starting to appreciate the good times now.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of digging my way out of this again and getting back to playing well. Every now and again you need a bit of a kick in the butt.”