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McDowell happy the talking is over

Graeme McDowell was a relieved man at Congressional on Tuesday - talking over, the rest of his career can now begin.

Even after the most incredible year he is ever likely to have McDowell has been wanting to draw a line under his US Open victory and Ryder Cup heroics.

"It's tough to look forward when all everybody wants to talk about is the past, but this is my last bit of talking and I'm really happy it's all done," said the Ulsterman at his final news conference before his title defence starts on Thursday.

"It's bizarre because if anything I feel like the glare's off me this week," added the first European to win the event since Tony Jacklin in 1970.

"Somehow, having arrived here, I feel like I've done it now.

"I've handed my trophy back and I'm ready to sort of get on with the rest of my career. I've got nothing to defend this week. I'm level par Thursday morning the same as everyone else."

McDowell has never considered what he did a year ago at Pebble Beach or against the Americans at Celtic Manor a burden, but he feels free now to concentrate on what comes next.

"The last three or four months have been difficult," said the 31-year-old, who went through a spring mini slump and after it looked as if it was over shot 79 when leading the Players Championship and then 81 when lying second at the Wales Open the Saturday before last.

"Can I ever top 2010? I probably can't top the way it felt to win my first major championship and to hole the winning putt at the Ryder Cup, but I can have a similar competitive year.

"I'm here at a US Open for the first time believing in myself that I can win on a US Open set-up because I did it last year. I felt different on the golf course yesterday (Monday). I really felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders already."

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