| 7.2°C Belfast

McDowell unfazed by Wales woe


Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell will not be reaching for the panic button after his Wales Open title defence was blown into oblivion at a wet and windy Celtic Manor.

McDowell's closing 71 on Sunday proved 10 shots better than his calamitous third-round effort, but his 81-71 finish contrasted vividly with events of a year ago when he carded a 64, then 63 to stave off Welsh challenger Rhys Davies.

"The damage was done yesterday, and today was about trying to go out and repair some of the damage," said the Northern Irishman, whose next competitive round will be at the Congressional course in Washington on Thursday week when he begins the defence of his US Open crown.

"I played quite nicely today. I struck the ball well. I had a disappointing finish (he bogeyed the 18th), but generally hit the ball good. Yesterday, was my golf tournament done.

"I am not disturbed about my game in any shape or form. My game is in good shape, it's firing on all cylinders.

"Of course, I have work to do between now and Congressional, but yesterday was just a bit of an anomaly. I lost the feel of my swing a little bit. They were tough conditions out there today, windy and wet early on, and I hit some nice shots."

Sunday's performance equalled the two worst rounds of his European Tour career - 81s at Valderrama in 2002 and the 2005 US Open at Pinehurst. It is also less than a month since he collapsed from first to 33rd with a closing 79 at the Players Championship in Florida.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

But McDowell did not resemble a downcast figure under the leaden Usk Valley sky.

He added: "I am heading back to Portrush for three days just to put the feet up and chill and recharge the batteries. Then I am out to Orlando on Thursday, have a weekend's practice and up to Congressional probably next Sunday night.

"It's going to be tough. I saw the golf course a few weeks back - it looked very long and demanding that day - but hopefully it has firmed up a little bit. It should be a great week. I am looking forward to defending."

Top Videos