Graeme McDowell feeling optimistic about return to The Masters

McDowell is making his first appearance at The Masters since 2016, but believes the softer conditions will suit his game.

Jack Seddon's picture
Mon, 9 Nov 2020

Graeme McDowell feeling optimistic about return to The Masters

Graeme McDowell is making his first appearance at The Masters since 2016 and he will be going into the event with an open mind as he looks to conquer a course that has cursed him throughout his career.

Making the cut into the weekend will be the first part of McDowell's plan, having only done so three times in his past nine visits to Augusta.

McDowell, who won the US Open in 2010 at Pebble Beach, has failed to qualify for The Masters for the past three years due to struggling with his form, but a victory at the Saudi International back in February put the Northern Irishman back inside the World's top 50 to book his return to the major, which was supposed to be played in April.

Since his last victory, McDowell has now slipped to 66th in the World Rankings and his form has been rather lacklustre, but he is feeling positive about having the opportunity to play in such a famous event once again.

"I'm obviously excited to get back to the Masters. One of the big goals this season was to get myself back in the top 50 and back in the big events again," said McDowell.

"It's been great to get back to work and I'm not going to stand here and say there's no crowds, no intensity; it is what it is and guys are getting the job done and I just haven't.

"It's disappointing but I'm certainly more motivated right now than I have been for a long time in my career and looking forward to being back at Augusta.

"I was looking forward to having the kids there for the par-three contest and we had their little [caddie] suits ready to go, but I feel like I'm in a position where I can play a few more Masters after this one.

"I'm going there with an open mind - you have to.

"There's no point looking back at what you've done, no point going in there thinking it's going to be really long for me - you've just got to go in there and play your best and focus on my wedge play and my putting and try and get it done that way."

With this year's Masters being played in November, it poses a new challenge to the field, one that McDowell is ready for and believes the change in conditions could benefit his performance.

"It's going to be interesting. I've seen some of the aerial shots [of the course] the last few weeks. They have overseeded it and it's gone from brown to green.

"I know that overseeding requires a lot of water so I'm expecting it to be soft, which is not going to be ideal for me, but I just have to have a great week with the wedges and the putter."

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