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"I would love to win it!" - Graeme McDowell on the Irish Open

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

05:27 3 Jul 2019


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Graeme McDowell is on a mission in Lahinch, and has been speaking to Nathan Murphy about his feelings on the Irish Open, his form and the potential for a home win.

Speaking from Clare in the run-up to the Irish Open, McDowell seemed in loose, happy form when discussing his preparations for the tournament.

Following a tumultuous preparation for last year's Open at Ballyliffin, it is a more sanguine Graeme McDowell that approaches Portrush.

"I'm very much trying to be in the present this week. I love to compete, and I've never won an Irish Open, I would love to win one of these!"

It is a knitting together of all aspects of his game that seems to underpin Graeme's mood at the moment, following a good showing at Pebble Beach last month.

"When you're putting well, chipping is easier; when you're putting well, iron play is easier. Your game feeds off the short stuff.

"The putter started to heat up around early March this year, then I kicked on and putted really well this season. It has always been a big staple of my game, and everything feels a little looser when you feel like you can clean those five-footers up a little bit."

It would appear that his confidence in his short game has bred it elsewhere, as McDowell looks to claim his first Irish Open crown.

"The confidence has come back a little bit. Just shaking some of the pressure off regarding playing privileges in the [United] States, back in the top 100 in the world and The Open [...] playing for the sake of competing at the moment, instead of some of the sideline stuff."

It appear that the older and wiser McDowell might have a great chance this week; the mantle of top 100 golfer sits well with him, and he has taken to a more professional approach to Lahinch since his South of Ireland title there in 2000.

"I was definitely a little greener behind the ears and life was simple [in 2000.]

"You're always trying to get better in this game, but life was simpler in those days. I feel like I'm smarter and better these days - and probably twenty pounds heavier!"

It will take a strong will to bet against McDowell in this form, heading to his home town for a shot at glory.

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Gmac Golf Graeme McDowell Irish Open Lahinch. Portrush

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