Graeme McDowell wants a heart to heart with Padraig Harrington
Graeme McDowell has booked a dinner date with Padraig Harrington to learn how to cope with PMS — Post Major Stress.
McDowell's life has changed utterly since his fantastic US Open win at Pebble Beach in June. Apart from the demands on his time and the constant attention, there's a whole shock to the emotional and body-mind system which he never expected.
That's affecting his game, and while he is thrilled with his Major-winner status, there has to be a period of adjustment. How long it takes he doesn't know, hence the call for Harrington's advice.
Speaking after his level-par 71 for three-under-par 281 in total, at Killarney McDowell said: “It's been much more difficult than I ever imagined. I mentioned to Padraig on Thursday that I would like to go to dinner with him next week.
“I told him I was struggling with it all a little bit and it's been tough to keep my focus, and he said, ‘welcome to my world'.
“You dream of achieving these things but dealing with them is another thing. They're good problems to have and I wouldn't change it for anything but it's frustrating.”
McDowell hit the heights early in his career, winning the 2002 Volvo Scandinavian Masters in only his fourth start as a professional, but a Major title is so different.
“When I won my first event, it was intense for a couple of days
and then it went away very quickly. This one has lingered,” McDowell said.
“Everyone reminds me of all the time. The level of intensity, just everything you do makes your weeks busier and makes everything else more difficult.
“I'm still learning how to deal with that, but hopefully I'll have a chat with Padraig next week.”
Pre-tournament favourite, Rory McIlroy, confessed that he'd found the weight of expectation of playing his home Open in front of such appreciative fans a little too much to bear.
“When you're trying to live up to everyone's expectations and it doesn't quite come off, you can be very hard on yourself and it reflects poorly on your game as well,” said McIlroy, who slumped into a tie for 35th with Damien McGrane ( worth €21,600).
Defending champion Shane Lowry went out with all guns blazing in a kamikaze final day bid to hand onto the trophy — but had to be satisfied with a final round of 72 and a share of 21st.
Belfast’s Michael Hoey shot a fine 67 for seventh place and €90,000, while Ryder Cup vice-captains Darren Clarke (12th on eight-under, worth €49,950) and Paul McGinley (one shot back in 14th, earning €43,200) can look forward with confidence.