Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Misery for McDowell

Graeme McDowell

Less than two weeks away from his defence of the US Open title, Graeme McDowell suffered the potentially devastating shock of an 81 - the joint worst round of his entire European Tour career - at the Wales Open on Saturday.

On the Celtic Manor course where he was not only Europe's Ryder Cup hero last October, but also Wales Open champion five months earlier, the world number five crashed from one off the lead to an incredible 11 strokes adrift.

Swede Alex Noren still leads after a rollercoaster ride of a 71 in the windy conditions - compatriot Peter Hanson and Dane Anders Hansen are one behind - but the story of the day was inevitably McDowell's tumble from second place overnight to 33rd. And this less than a month since he collapsed from first to 33rd with a closing 79 at the Players Championship in Florida.

"Obviously I'm very disappointed," he said. "I got off to a start where everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

"I just couldn't get anything going. It was the most crazy seven holes I've had in a long time - my head was spinning.

"I feel I got heavily punished for some mediocre golf, not disastrously bad golf.

"After the 11th (a bogey six on a reachable par five) I completely lost my patience and at 12 (a quadruple bogey eight) I just lost my head. That was me gone.

"I felt like I was in control of my game, but I very swiftly got out of control.

"I've made more double bogeys and triple bogeys this season than ever and I need to address that and understand why that is. It kind of broke my heart a little bit.

"Tomorrow I'll try to shoot 66-67, then lick my wounds and get ready for Congressional. But there are some mental areas that I've got to address."

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