With Ryder Cup qualification underway that means open season for all the players desperate for one more shot before they hang up their yellow and blue spikes and start thinking about the captaincy. Ian Poulter has already expressed his desire to make Padraig Harrington’s team, and now Graeme McDowell has his sights set on a plane ticket to Whistling Straits.
McDowell has an envious Ryder Cup record. He’s played on four European teams, winning three, and holed the putt that sealed the title at the Celtic Manor in 2010. But since then a loss in form and injuries have limited his involvement to a vice-captain’s role for Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National.
But while he’s struggled to find the form that made him a 12-time winner on European and PGA Tours between 2002 and 2015, including a US Open triumph at Pebble Beach, the 40-year-old did show signs of his former self in 2019, capturing an opposite-field event in the Dominican Republic.
He’s switched coach for the new PGA Tour season and he has revealed he will be shaping his 2020 commitments around getting into Harrington’s squad.
“Playing for Padraig at Whistling Straits is my big goal for the next 12 months,” he said. “I’m laying out my schedule to give myself the best possible shot to be on the team.
“If I play the way I know I can play then I can be on the team.
“The Ryder Cup is something special that I cherish and my experiences have been the best of my career. I would love to play at least once more.”
But the world No. 117 is well aware of the tough competition he’ll have to see off in order to make the team.
“You’ve two rookies in Shane Lowry and Viktor Hovland who you’d say will be very close to the team,” he added.
“The spots are starting to disappear as we speak, it’s a changing of the guard. I’m just hoping I’m not too old. I would love to be part of the team as it’s such a special event.”
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