Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

No panic for McDowell

Graeme McDowell will be looking to get back on track at the Alstom Open de France

Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell will avoid reaching for the panic button when he competes in this week's Alstom Open de France.

McDowell did win the Volvo World Match Play crown in Bulgari, but his missed cut in last week's Irish Open was the fifth in his last six strokeplay events and left him spending the weekend at Carton House on the practice range, alongside compatriot Rory McIlroy, looking for some form ahead of the upcoming Open Championship.

"Obviously that Volvo World Match Play offsets some really average golf for me I suppose," McDowell admitted in his pre-tournament press conference at Le Golf National. "I feel like I went into the US Open a bit under golfed to be honest with you; (with) a few missed cuts here and there and playing a slightly reduced schedule this year."

He added: "I really just haven't had enough course time the last couple of months and that was highlighted at the US Open - he shot rounds of 76 and 77 at Merion - and it was highlighted a little bit last week in Ireland, missing by one there.

"I thought I had snuck in for the weekend and I could have done with a couple of extra rounds of golf under my belt, but used the weekend constructively, hit a lot of balls.

"I feel like, thankfully, I've got a couple of victories under the belt this year to offset maybe the panic button being hit. It is a good thing to be coming into this run of golf fresh I suppose, I've got a lot of golf coming up here the next few months.

"The game's not in terrible shape to be honest with you. It's been a fine line here and there. The motivation's there and I'm feeling hungry and ready to go this summer.

"I've worked very hard the last 10 days or so and I've probably hit as many balls in the last 10 days as I have in a couple of months really. I could do with a weekend here where I compete and play four rounds, get the old juices flowing."

McDowell is one of three players in the world's top 10 competing in Paris, the world number nine being joined by eighth ranked Luke Donald and number five Matt Kuchar.

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