After some encouraging play Graeme ended his Dutch Open in tied 22nd place with rounds of 71,66,70 and 72, -9 in total. This was Graeme’s second tournament back since his forearm repair procedure, and the highlight was an impressive second round 66 to reach the midway stage at Bernardus Golf Club in Cromvoirt on six-under-par 137.
The Northern Irishman said “I improved in the two areas that I needed to, which were getting the ball into play off the tee and feeling better on the greens. I drove the ball much better. There’s still some room for improvement and I think I left a few out there, which is always pleasing when you shoot six-under and still feel like you have left a few.” He added: “After a couple of months on the couch, I am obviously pleased with a lot of the things I am doing. My swing and iron play feels particularly good and this is a key iron play golf course.”
Graeme finishes in tied 49th place at the BMW PGA Championship with rounds of 71 69 73 70, with a score of -5.
After a solid 69 on day 2 Graeme had shot himself into position to claim his best European Tour finish of the season after a three under par second round 69 left the Portrush man in a tie for 24th at the midway stage. He had a lot to do after a 73 on Saturday but a nice 70 on the final day which included 5 birdies bumped him up 9 places. Stand out holes during the week was the par 5, 4th which Graeme eagled on day 2 with further birdies on round 3 and 4. He birdied the 18th on all 4 days in front of the big crowds at the Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England.
Graeme finished his 2021 Irish Open with a round of 70 which put him tied 56. The standout round was 67 on day 2 and with Graeme’s ultra positive attitude when the consistency returns he will be back to the top.
Graeme produced a stirring fightback to set himself up for a potentially confidence boosting weekend at the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
“It’s so important, even looking forward to next week, the big key with this game is 65, 66, 67.
You feel good about yourself as we move on; there’s always next week. But if you’re missing cuts and going home on Friday night, you miss that weekend and you miss the opportunity to build. And I think that’s been one of the main problems the last 12 months, the amount of cuts that I’ve missed, which has just killed that ability to create confidence.
Because even 50th spot going out on a Sunday and shooting 65, you take something into the following week. So making the weekend here, having the ability to be able to create a little bit of momentum as I move into a huge week next week, not ruling out the chance of shooting something low tomorrow and having a chance here on Sunday.
But like I say, key to have four rounds” Rory McIlroy talks after arrival in County Kilkenny yesterday. “The last time I was on the 18th green here was that prize-giving ceremony. Tiger Woods won and I somehow sneaked my way under the ropes on to the back of the green.
I was standing right behind him and his glove was still in his back pocket. I could have reached out and got it and ran, that would have been a good story to tell. Obviously I didn’t. It was the first time I’d seen him play live.
I still remember the first shot I saw him hit, the drive at the 5th, a par five. He hit 2-iron into the green. It was so cool. I’d idolised him growing up and to actually see the man in the flesh was pretty exciting”.
“I’d made a bit of a name for myself as an amateur by then and knew Chubby (Chandler) and Darren (Clarke) so I was in the clubhouse and got to chat to Ernie when he won. It’s amazing to think it’s been 17 year.
Certainly a lot’s changed for me since the last time I was here. I might as well play the Scottish as well. My original plan up until last week was us to come as a family, play here, take a week off, which is now the Scottish Open, and play the Open.
With me being a sports person the restrictions are not as heavy for me as they would be for Erica and Poppy. I felt it wasn’t fair to put them through what they’d have to go through to be here with me. The plans changed very quickly and we made the decision I travel on my own.
I wasn’t going to go back to the States for a week inbetween the Irish and the Open, so if I’m here I might as well play the Scottish as well. It went very quickly from them coming, to not coming and then me playing three events in a row!
If anything, it’s probably worked out for the best. It’ll be nice to get a tournament on a links course before going into Sandwich. I didn’t play for a week because I was spending time with the family before being away. So I can now get to work here and in Scotland”
Defiant in the face of adversity.
“It’s just the mental side of the game that’s just not there. My expectation levels are high, so really trying to adjust that,” says McDowell.
“At this point, I really should be out here playing tournaments, enjoying myself, everything else is gravy from here. If I wasn’t to hit another shot here, it’s been a great run, it’s been a great career.
“But I’m not ready to walk away like this. I’m not ready to finish my career like this. I feel like I have the ability to continue to compete and play at a high level again.
“I’ve got things that I want to achieve, and it’s about kind of just refocusing on what does success look like for me now. It’s different from what it looked like 10 years ago and just making sure that I do a better job and give myself the ability to go on the golf course, relax, enjoy, the old cliché, get out of my own way.
“That’s kind of where I’m at right now. The game is probably closer than it looks on paper. Just not really putting numbers on the board, but I don’t really feel like I’m miles away.”
There is precedent this year alone that it’s not impossible to win after long droughts. Phil Mickelson won the US PGA at 51. Jordan Spieth claimed the Valero Texas Open after nearly four years without a win. Even Richard Bland, who McDowell will play the first two rounds with this week, won his first European Tour event at the 478th time of asking at the British Masters.
How desperately G-Mac would love to join them in the winner’s circle in Kilkenny this week, and he believes those recent victories prove it is within reach for him.
“One of the mistakes I made the last year is searching too deeply and trying to do things differently rather than focusing on the things that made me great to this point and trying to get better at those again,” he adds.
“It’s inspiring to see that guys can dig themselves out of holes. I’ve dug myself out of a hole a couple of times the last four or five years. There’s no reason why I can’t do it again.”
Co. Kilkenny (June 30, 2021) – Northern Ireland native Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open Champion and Ryder Cup legend, has signed joint venture to launch a one-of-a-kind Irish whiskey with the innovative, adult beverage, brand builder Fluid Assets.
The newly formed partnership will bring to life an Irish whiskey that pays tribute to Graeme’s inspiring journey from the small seaside town of Portrush on the north coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, to the shores of America. “I’m very excited to be building an authentic Irish whiskey brand that honors the spirit of the Irish experience and celebrates the journey to America and the ongoing quest to fulfill your dreams,” said the 14-time PGA and European Tour champion.
“Growing up in a small town you learn that if you want something you have to work hard for it and then make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. Golf propelled me on my journey from Portrush to America to play in college golf and then pursue a career in professional golf which led to my success on the PGA and European Tours.”
Chris Lund, Chief Creative Officer at Fluid Assets, added: “Our goal from day one with Graeme was to build an Irish whiskey brand that is genuine, has its roots in the traditional Irish distilling process with a signature flavour that had universal appeal.
“Graeme’s Irish-American journey inspired our formulation process of distilling a traditional Irish whiskey and finishing it in American oak barrels. Together we wanted a product that represented not just Graeme’s Irish-American journey but that of the over 70 million North Americans that lay claim to having the courage to explore the same path.”
GMac will launch his Irish whiskey for the end of year holiday season of 2021 in Ireland, and in the United States as an exclusive feature at his Nona Blue Modern Tavern locations in Lake Nona and Pointe Vedra Beach, Florida. In 2022 availability of this new Irish American lifestyle brand will be available across North America and Ireland.
About Fluid Assets Inc.
Fluid Assets Inc. develops and represents unique award-winning adult beverage brands – and we do it like nobody else. Drawing on extensive market knowledge, creative passion, and executional excellence, we respond to consumers’ changing tastes with innovative, trendsetting brands that help people get more out of life’s occasions.
Graeme named as vice captains for the 2020 Ryder Cup in September.
Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell will join Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson as vice captains for the 2020 Ryder Cup in September.
The duo form part of Padraig Harrington’s team for the event, which takes place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 24-26.
Graeme will undertake his second spell as vice captain, with two-time major winner Kaymer taking on the role for the first time after four appearances as a player (2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016), during which time he won an individual total of 6.5 points.
Graeme joined Padraig Harrington as part of the backroom team that helped captain Thomas Bjørn plot the stunning 17.5-10.5 victory over the United States at Le Golf National, France, in 2018.
The Northern Irish major winner has also appeared in the biennial contest on four occasions (2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014), with nine points from 15 matches, most notably including the winning point at Celtic Manor in 2010.
Padraig said: “I’m delighted to welcome Martin and Graeme as vice captains, both of whom I believe will bring experience, knowledge, and a great balance to the team room. They have both contributed winning points in Ryder Cup history, have been there and done it, and the other players look up to them. They both have that aura and responsibility in that what they say will have meaning.
Graeme missed the cut at the 2021 RBC Heritage, Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, SC.
Graeme’s 2nd round started well with birdies on 2 and 5 but a double bogey on 8 set him back and ended his challenge. From there his round was even with birdies on 9 and 12 cancelled out by bogies on 14 and 15.
Graeme will have to produce a strong round to reach the weekend at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Graeme is in the bottom half of the leaderboard at Harbour Town after a two-over 73 in his opening round, which is three shots off the projected cut mark.
Graeme struggled for consistency at Harbour Town, recording three birdies on his front nine but also dropping two shots before the turn.
His back nine was little better, the former US Open champion finding two more bogeys and also a double-bogey, but he did fire in a sensational approach to 11 inches on the 18th for birdie to give him some momentum to take into today’s second round..