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I can become one of the world's top players again: Graeme McDowell sets ranking target ahead of home Open Championship

 

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

By Robert Jones

Rejuvenated Portrush golfer Graeme McDowell has set himself the target of returning to the world's top 50 by Christmas and being a serious contender at future Majors.

McDowell, who confirmed his place at next month's Open Championship in his hometown last week in Canada, is now rated the 89th best player on the planet after finishing 16th at the US Open at Pebble Beach, California.

It is the first time in nearly two years the popular 39-year-old, who dropped as low as 257 in the rankings, has been inside the top 100.

G-Mac, who won the US Open in 2010 and has a career high of four, said: "The rebuild is getting myself back up there in the world rankings and being competitive on a week-to-week basis again.

"I feel like I'm 25 or 30 again trying to get myself back up the rankings. I've done it once and maybe didn't appreciate it but then I missed it a lot. 

"The rebuild is about getting back to being one of the top players in the world, and I feel like I can be up there competing against them more often.

"I appreciate it more than I ever did. When I was down there at 250th, 270th in the world, I knew what it meant to be top 100, top 50, top 20 in the world. It's a big deal. It requires consistency and great golf, and I am very proud of myself the way I have ground out the last six months."

McDowell, who finished two shots behind fellow countryman Rory McIlroy, is excited at the prospect of returning home and playing The Open at a course he knows very well.

"It goes without saying that I am looking forward to going home for The Open at Portrush," added McDowell, who turns 40 next month.

"I am going to go there for a few days before the Irish (Open) and get my links groove going early, so by the time I get back to Portrush I should know what I am doing."

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