ORLANDO, Fla. – Graeme McDowell will experience a career first on Sunday afternoon – taking part in a trophy presentation even though he didn’t win.
McDowell was one of five co-hosts for this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, but the only one who actually played in the tournament.
“That’ll be weird,” he said of the ceremony.
It’s been a busy week both on and off the course for McDowell, as he attended a get-together for the ambassadors, foundation meetings and draw party, and also hosted a news conference – “sewing the seeds,” he said, “for what this tournament was going to be all about.”
Despite his other responsibilities, McDowell made the cut and was tied for 29th when he finished his final round. He described it as a “successful” event, the first since the icon’s death last September.
“Going forward, I see my role as less about this week and more about helping to advise and be a consultant for the X-factor that the event is going to need going forward,” McDowell said.
McDowell said he’s heard plenty of positive feedback from his fellow players, including that Bay Hill was in the best shape he’s ever seen it.
Before the trophy presentation, McDowell planned to visit Palmer’s office for the first time. He said it was one of his biggest regrets, not taking the time to visit with Palmer and share a cocktail.
“I might go sit in the chair and feel it a little bit,” he said. “That goes to the reverence and the education and the subconscious, how can I be a better professional and a better person?”