US Open champ doesnt want career to be single act

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2010, 8:40 pm
PodCast Header
Editorial director Jay Coffin sits down with U.S. Open Winner Graeme McDowell

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Life sure has changed since Graeme McDowell’s surprise victory at the U.S. Open last month.

He can’t begin to count how many congratulatory e-mails, voice mails and text messages he’s gotten, and one of Greg Norman’s people just asked for his number so the Shark can give him a shout. He’s already shaken enough hands at the British Open to have a future career as a politician – and it’s only Tuesday.

But all this love can come at a price. While a few first-timers have gone on to quickly add another major title (see: Padraig Harrington), the list of those who’ve done little else of significance is much, much longer.

“I’m very aware of the pitfalls – complacency, expectation levels, really trying to change my game now that I’m a major champion, there’s all kinds of mistakes that guys have made in the past,” McDowell said. “I feel like I’ve got some good processes and some good work ethics going on, and it’s important that I do that.

“It’s difficult to put Pebble Beach behind me, and I don’t want to put it behind me because I’m enjoying every second of it and it’s been an amazing experience,” he added. “But I’ve got to look forward to the rest of the season. I’ve got some big goals I want to achieve.”

Pick which of the many young, talented Europeans would win a major, and McDowell’s name probably wouldn’t have been first on the list. The 30-year-old has spent most of his time on the European Tour since turning professional in 2002, and the closest he came to a win on the PGA Tour before the U.S. Open was a tie for second at Bay Hill in 2005.

He just made it onto the automatic exemption list for Pebble Beach by cracking the top 50 in the world – No. 49, to be exact, after finishing tied for 28th at the BMW PGA Championship in England.

But McDowell played solidly at Pebble Beach, and was steely enough to hold off some of the world’s best; Ernie Els finished third, while Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods tied for fourth.

“His game is suited really well for the majors, anyway,” said Rory McIlroy, McDowell’s good friend and fellow Northern Irishman. “He doesn’t do anything wrong. He makes a lot of pars, gives himself lots of chances. And he’s got a great short game. … I had sort of viewed winning majors as this higher level, and it just made me realize that it wasn’t. You just needed to play well in the right week, and have a few things go your way.”

If McDowell is to win another major, a British Open would seem to suit him best. He opened with a 66 to take the first-round lead at Royal Liverpool in 2006, and was two shots out of the lead going into the weekend at Royal Birkdale in 2008. (He then blew up with an 80 in the third round.) In his only British Open at St. Andrews, McDowell tied for 11th and shot par or better for all but one round.

At the 2004 Dunhill Links, he shot a 62 on the Old Course.

Oh, McDowell also happens to be from Portrush, a city on Northern Ireland’s northern coast where the weather is very similar to St. Andrews. The gorgeous, sun-kissed skies that have lingered above the Old Course the last few days were expected to give way to rain and wind later Tuesday, with the weather staying miserable through the weekend.

“When the wind blows and it starts raining, people always say to me, ‘Geez, you must love this.’ I hate it the same as everyone else does,” McDowell said. “But yeah, I grew up in it, and maybe I’ve got the kind of game that can deal with it a little bit more.”

McDowell got to brush up on his British Open game last weekend at the Scottish Open, where he tied for 21st.

“I was hitting balls in the rain last week at Loch Lomond thinking, this could stand me in good stead for next week,” he said. “Obviously the forecast is pretty changeable around here, you never know to expect on a day-to-day basis, but you’ve got to be prepared for anything this tournament can throw at you.

“I’ve got all kinds of wet gear and cashmere and woolly hats and mittens, and we’re ready for anything the course is going to throw at us this week.

Not to mention all those distractions that go along with his newfound celebrity.

“My preparation remains exactly the same,” McDowell said. “Obviously coming here as the U.S. Open champion is a special feeling. (But) I think it’s important that I remain the same guy.”

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm