Graeme McDowell (Getty Images)
Good vibes are back with McDowell
Graeme McDowell was in confident mood following his first practice round of The 2010 Ryder Cup alongside his great friend and countryman, Rory McIlroy.
By Steffan Hubbard
The US Open champion was clearly relishing the return to the Twenty Ten Course as it brought back fond memories of his Celtic Manor Wales Open triumph back in June, a victory which acted as a catalyst to his victory at Pebble Beach.
Four months on and McDowell couldn’t fault the layout nor how it was playing, deeming it to be in ‘phenomenal condition’. In specifying the minor differences to the course, he was quick to point out the increased thickness in the rough, which he stated had the potential to severely punish any misfires from either tee or fairway.
His potential partnership with McIlroy has certainly been in the spotlight this week and McDowell was impressed with the calmness and confidence the 21 year old was showing.
Indeed Colin Montgomerie praised both men, stating that ‘they are both very confident individuals, and I think that's a huge plus when it comes to playing together that both are confident, and confident of their own ability and confident of their partner's ability’.
With six rookies on the European Team this year, McDowell also spoke of the ‘bizarre change’ he was now experiencing in comparison to two years ago at Valhalla. As opposed to being the ‘deer in the headlights’, he is now part of the experienced clan offering advice to the debutants in terms of what they should expect in the coming week. However, with the abundance of talent these rookies possess, McDowell stated that there was very little you could tell these players ‘that they didn’t already know’.
The Northern Irishman also gave a little insight into the stirring team meeting the previous night, where they watched video clips from previous Ryder Cups. “It just brought out the passion, the emotion, the great European players of years gone by, along with the iconic figures in European and Ryder Cup golf.”
The evening seems to have had the desired effect, creating ‘a bit of a buzz’, and with what he claims to be an ‘X-Factor’ of a European Team in 2010, he is eager to get started and win The Ryder Cup back from the Americans.