Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

McDowell wary of Open organisers

Graeme McDowell has won three of his last eight events

Graeme McDowell is not getting carried away by the prospect of good weather at the Open - as event organisers can still be "a little bit evil".

East Lothian has enjoyed perfect summer conditions ahead of this week's championship at Muirfield and the forecast for the event itself looks similarly promising.

It contrasts considerably from the last time the links hosted the Open in 2002, when a weekend storm ravaged the leaderboard and world number one Tiger Woods shot a third-round 81.

This year players are reporting the course as hard and fast and there are high hopes for good scoring, but the Royal & Ancient will make sure the game's elite are tested.

Northern Irishman McDowell, the 2010 US Open winner, said: "Looking at the winning score, if the wind forecast is what they expect, which is fairly light - eight to 10 miles an hour, switching to the east on the weekend - I think it might be 10-, 12-under.

"But it really just depends. They can get fairly evil with pin positions, the R&A, I have to say. They can get a little bit evil. These greens, there are some little corners on them that they can find.

"Obviously weather is always going to play a massive factor. Let's pray for a great, sunny, breezy weekend. That would be fantastic."

McDowell has arrived at the Open amid a run of inconsistent form, having won three of his last eight events but missed the cut in the other five, including at the last two majors.

Yet he feels his fortunes are not as wildly contrasting as they appear and is in positive mood.

He said: "They say winning is a habit, it's a contagious habit. It's certainly a habit we like to get into. You can say my season this year has not really been that way.

"I haven't fed off my victories maybe the way I needed to in the last few months. But those missed cuts, if you look at them - I missed by one at Augusta, missed by a couple at Players, missed by one at the Irish, missed by a couple at Wentworth, missed by a couple of hundred at the US Open.

"It hasn't really been as bad as it's read. I have felt fairly decent with my game most of the year."

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