The Ulster-duo is looking to go one better this week in China and avenge a loss to the Molinari brothers in the biennial event.
“You know, when you look at the flags at the back of the range and you see guys winning it, like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, you know, it kind of puts in perspective what kind of event this is. We take it very seriously,' McDowell said.
For both players, their careers have changed drastically since their narrow defeat. Both have won a U.S. Open, McDowell clinched the Ryder Cup as part of a dream 2010 season and McIlroy is now the No. 2 player in the world.
“It's pretty special. It's just an amazing couple of years with the Ryder Cup, and like I say, first major. Definitely, it's great experiences, and like we talk about, to put this win on the resumé would be extra special, as well,' McDowell said Tuesday. 'Winning individually is nice. But winning as a team is something extra special, and you know, I'm sure myself and Rory would dearly love to win this week.'
McIlroy agreed, saying, “It's been a great couple of years to get my first win in the States, and then back that up with my first major at Congressional. It's been fantastic.'
With the competition days split between best-ball and alternate shot, the pair may be at a distinct advantage from '09. Going 2-0 in foursomes matches together at Celtic Manor, the Ulstermen know how to work together.
“That's definitely one of the keys this week is playing well in the alternate shot format … we know each other's games very well,' McDowell said. 'We know each other's strengths and weaknesses hopefully we can gel well this week and put a winning formula together.”