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Graeme McDowell will make sure next major success is a family affair

By Phil Casey

Published 16/06/2015

Father’s Day: Graeme McDowell with dad Kenny at Pebble Beach
Father’s Day: Graeme McDowell with dad Kenny at Pebble Beach

Graeme McDowell can already picture the celebrations if he wins another US Open title to maintain Europe's recent dominance of the year's second major championship.

McDowell fittingly celebrated with his father Kenny when he won the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach on Father's Day, becoming the first European winner since Tony Jacklin in 1970.

Now that he is a father himself, the Ryder Cup star would love to be greeted by his daughter Vale if he triumphs at Chambers Bay on Sunday.

"I've got a little girl now and I'd love for her to be on the last green," said McDowell.

"You always see it on TV and it's definitely a visual I have in my head as something I would love to achieve.

"I am certainly motivated right now to get in there and do it.

"I'd love to win the US Open again, although any major championship would be great. I'm chiselling away right now really trying to find my game.

"I want to be on leaderboards on Sunday afternoon and especially at major championships.

"I would love to compete at Chambers Bay and St Andrews (Open Championship) and Whistling Straits (US PGA) and that's definitely on the radar for the next four or five years."

McDowell has recorded just one top-10 finish this season - in Dubai in January - and missed the cut in the FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis last week, but that at least allowed him to get to Chambers Bay earlier than planned.

The public links-style course only opened in 2007 and USGA director Mike Davis famously said players would need 10 practice rounds to get to know the layout due to all the different tees which will be used during the week.

"I feel like between myself and Kenny (Comboy, his caddie), as a team we're as good as anybody at putting a strategy together," added McDowell, who almost tasted more success on America's west coast when he finished a shot behind Webb Simpson at Olympic Club in 2012.

"I know that Mike Davis has said that guys will have to have extra preparation, but that's hard to do in this day and age. It's not like the old days when the boys flew in a week before and took their time.

"There are so many extra events and commitments to do and of course the majors are very, very high priority for us.

"Typically I would have had the chance to go to Seattle before now, but geographical location has made it difficult this time around. We will have to go in there and prep as well as we can."

McDowell's victory in 2010 started a superb run of success for European players, with fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy winning the following year at Congressional and Justin Rose lifting the title at Merion in 2013.

Germany's Martin Kaymer then cruised to an eight-shot victory at Pinehurst 12 months ago, setting a 36-hole scoring record of 130 thanks to back-to-back rounds of 65, beating McIlroy's total of 131 from 2011.

World number one McIlroy, From Holywood, will start as the pre-tournament favourite at Chambers Bay, despite missing the cut in his last two events, with Jordan Spieth second favourite as he looks to become just the sixth player after Craig Wood, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win the Masters and US Open in the same year.

Belfast Telegraph

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