Graeme McDowell looking to kick-start season as European Open returns
Graeme McDowell will look to resurrect his season this week as the Porsche European Open returns to the schedule for the first time since 2009.
McDowell's only top 10 of the year to date came in the Dubai Desert Classic in February and the former world number four has fallen to 67th in the rankings.
The 36-year-old has not played competitively since missing the cut in the US PGA Championship but has been working hard on his game before getting his campaign for a fifth consecutive Ryder Cup appearance under way at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach.
"I always love coming back to Germany and the European Open is a prestigious event," said the former US Open champion, who was third in this event at The London Club in 2008. "There are some great names on the trophy.
"I'm very happy to be here and I'm looking to resurrect my season; this week is as important for me as any of the past few months have been. I'm starting my 2016 campaign this week and my Ryder Cup campaign. I want to drive myself forward and get myself where I feel I belong.
"Golf is a tough game sometimes and it has felt more difficult this year for me than it has in the past. But it makes you appreciate the good times in the past and I'm looking forward to good times ahead.
"Since Whistling Straits I took two weeks off and didn't touch any clubs and spent some time with the family. Then I've been working pretty hard for three weeks now.
"I've just been resetting and practising and trying to get this ship back on path. I'm playing here, Dunhill (Alfred Dunhill Links Championship), British Masters, Hong Kong and Turkey and hopefully HSBC-Champions."
Home favourite and course designer Bernhard Langer is in the field, along with fellow former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson and American Hunter Mahan.
"It is nice to test myself against the younger players every once in a while," the 58-year-old Langer said. "It's not my goal to play on the European Tour in the long run as I'm very happy on the Champions Tour. I've done the European Tour and PGA Tour for many years and I've done my time.
"I am proud to have this event on a course I designed. We used to play the German Open on a course I designed in Stuttgart so to have this event on another is fantastic."
Fellow German Max Kieffer is looking to make the cut in his 22nd consecutive stroke play event, which would be the longest active streak on the European Tour.
"I'm playing very consistently. I don't really know why," Kieffer said. "It's great. There have been three or five times this year when I've felt like I'm not hitting it well on the range, but every day I wake up I feel I can play good golf. That's what you want for your form, to feel consistent."