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McIlroy partnership beckoning for Ryder revenge

Within minutes of winning the US Open for Europe, Graeme McDowell and his fellow Ulsterman Rory McIlroy turned their attention to snatching another prestige trophy from the 'States — the Ryder Cup in September.

McDowell leapt to No 2 in Europe's Ryder Cup rankings and made certain of his place in the team at Celtic Manor with Sunday's victory — and one of the first calls he made was to his closest personal friend on the fairways, McIlroy, who'd missed the cut at Pebble.

“Hey kid, what's it going to be, odds or evens,” quipped golf's newest Major champion, referring to the fantastic foursomes partnership the Ulster aces struck up at last year's Vivendi Trophy.

Fellow Major winner Padraig Harrington, said of his 2008 Ryder Cup comrade: “Graeme's game suits the Majors. He hits it straight and hits lots of fairways and greens and when he gets ahead, he's always played with great confidence. I've always been impressed by his ability to win tournaments from the front.

“I'm impressed with what Graeme's done and I'd see him playing very well off the back of this.”

Meanwhile, Only Lee Westwood now stands ahead of new US Open champion Graeme McDowell in the race for places in Europe's Ryder Cup team.

A week ago McDowell was not even amongst the top nine who earn automatic spots in Colin Montgomerie's side at the end of August.

Italian Francesco Molinari is the one to be pushed out of the top nine and he drops to 11th just behind Padraig Harrington.

Belfast Telegraph

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