Ryder Cup legend McDowell lining up for International Series encore
(Tanah Merah Country Club, Singapore, 4 October 2023)
If Graeme McDowell is in need of inspiration ahead of this week’s US$2million International Series Singapore, then that will surely come from one of the events he made his name in, the Ryder Cup – which came to such a thrilling conclusion in Rome last Sunday.
The Northern Irishman helped Europe win three out of the four Ryder Cups he played in – he was also unbeaten in the singles matches, and vice-captain in 2018 – and on the eve of this week’s tournament, which starts tomorrow on the Tampines Course at Tanah Merah Country Club and is part of The International Series, he was in buoyant mood after Europe regained the biennial competition.
“Great victory and congrats to Luke and the whole team,” said McDowell, who holed the winning putt for Europe in 2010 – arguably his greatest year, as he also joined golf’s elite, when he became only the second European to win the U.S. Open in 85 years.
“They played phenomenal, that looked like a lot of fun. I missed a couple of hours of the early sessions, just during the time zones I was in. I really enjoyed it, it was the first time I have watched the Ryder Cup on TV, in a very, very long time. It is one of my favourite events that I have competed in. It is pretty special, a lot of great memories, a lot of friendships forged. I was disappointed not to be there; it was great to cheer the boys on from afar.”
McDowell has been enjoying life playing on the LIV Golf League this and last year but on occasion has also competed on The International Series – the 10-tournament set of elevated events on the Asian Tour, which sees its Order of Merit winner earn a place on LIV Golf’s multi-million dollar circuit.
“As a LIV player I am happy where I am, I think it is a great product, but 14 events is not enough for me so I need more playing opportunities, and I think The International Series serves a lot of purposes,” he added.
“As LIV starts to stabilise its season it gives The International Series the ability to build their schedule around perhaps the LIV schedule and attract more of the best players in the world, which only continues to elevate the Asian Tour.
“I kind of grew up in this part of the world. I have spent a lot of time here. I have always enjoyed travelling. It grounds you as a player.”
The 44-year-old’s last victory came in the 2020 Saudi International, and he is clearly hungry to get back to winning ways.
McDowell said: “I am hitting it really well. I feel like my game is trending in the right direction, the last few months. It has been difficult getting any momentum for me on the LIV Golf League. I feel like it is a very competitive Tour, you just can’t afford to have a slow nine holes. I feel like I have struggled to build on my momentum and confidence.
“I am actually playing six in the next seven weeks: here, Jeddah, Miami, China, Hong Kong and Indonesia. I am actually excited to see if I can get a little bit of a head of steam up and to see if I can win some tournaments.”
McDowell has been paired in the first two rounds with Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz and South African Jaco Ahlers, winner of last week’s Mercuries Taiwan Masters.
For more information about International Series Singapore please follow the link here to the Asian Tour website Asian Tour | Professional Golf Tour in Asia