Sport

McDowell: No real buzz at PGA

2012-08-08 21:44
Kiawah Island, South Carolina - Graeme McDowell says with some last-minute practice time on Wednesday he should be able to catch some of the others napping ahead of the first round of the 94th PGA Championship.

"It's been quite a quiet, surreal, kind of un-major-like kind of build-up so far," the former US Open winner McDowell said.

"I have some rounds under my belt so I'm ready for this golf course. When the gun goes off tomorrow, everyone will be fizzed up and ready to go but perhaps not as ready and prepared as they would like to be for a major championship.

"I want to go and play the back nine for the third time and be ready for tomorrow, but guys are scrambling around to get their preparation done.

"Thankfully I feel like I have done enough so far."

The 33-year-old McDowell, of Northern Ireland, said the season's final major championship doesn't have the same buzz surrounding it as the other three, possibly because there are a lot more distractions at this time of the golf season.

"It's tough; where does this major rank among the four? There's no doubt it's firmly the fourth major, unfortunately," McDowell said. "I guess it's right in the middle of such a busy stretch of the season.

"We've just come off the US and the British and looking towards the FedEx and The Ryder Cup and there's a lot of golf going on.

"Somehow the build-up to this one seems a bit surreal with the weather and the stop/start nature of it."

Still McDowell says he would give anything to win a Wannamaker Trophy and the $1.44 million first place prize money that goes with it.

"Taking nothing away from this event; it is a fantastic major championship. I was going to say I would give my left arm, but that wouldn't be much good to me."

McDowell has had a sound major championship season so far with his best showing being a tie for second at the US Open. He tied for fifth in the British Open and tied for 12th at the Masters.

"It has been a strong year for me in the majors," he said. "I am very happy with my performances so far."

McDowell is competing in his eighth PGA Championship and has cracked the top 10 once in 2009 at Hazeltine.

But he still hasn't won since beating Tiger Woods in a playoff at the Chevron World Challenge in California to close out a superb 2010 season.

The sea-side Ocean Course will be playing long this week so when he tees off Thursday in a group with Scott Piercy and Matt Kuchar, McDowell will need to have his driver going.

"It is going to be a great test," McDowell said. "When it blows here, the wind is a massive factor. It is a great setup and a very good golf course and fingers crossed we will give a good run at it this week."
AFP

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