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Golf Australia Express : November 2012
As it turns out, it hasn’t always been an easy road to the top for McDowell. Talented, yes, but blessed with the same level of prodigious brilliance as, say, his countryman Rory McIlroy, he is not. That’s not to say McIlroy doesn’t deserve his success and the many, many trappings that brings ($25 million a year for a tick, anyone?) But while McIlroy earned his first major victory—the 2011 US Open—by blowing the US Masters a couple of months earlier when he practically had the green jacket home in his wardrobe, McDowell yo-yoed between the world’s major tours for years as he battled to make a name for himself in the US—and enough dollars to keep him there. A whirlwind first four years as a pro had his name up in lights on the European Tour as a multiple tournament winner, a new millionaire and the owner of a world golf ranking inside the top 50. The invitations to PGA Tour events started arriving, and when he pieced together four rounds to sew up an tied second-place finish at the Bay Hill Invitational in 2005, he had the Tour’s golden ticket for the ’06 season. Golf statistics can be cruel at the best of times, and they certainly don’t give PGA Tour cards away on street corners. So when an early- season injury and subsequent dip in form meant the profits from six of McDowell’s first seven US tournaments that year read 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0, he needed something approaching a miracle to retain his place among the sport’s top flight. A tie for 12th at The Barclays was the closest he came to a top 10 finish, and the revolving door hit him hard on the way out. “I got injured right at the start of the season and I never really got a chance to experience it,” he said in 2011. “I thought I was prepared for the States but I wasn’t. I was too immature, too inexperienced, but you can’t know that at first.” He might have known that, though, in the moments after he literally hit rock bottom—obliterating a large rock on course with his 5-wood as his form dive infiltrated the European Tour. The scene was the European Masters in Switzerland, where the now mellow fellow succumbed to the pressure and grind of the professional golfing world, in one beautiful moment of white rage. “I saw this rock out of the corner of my eye and suddenly, boom, the thing pretty much exploded in my hand." PLAYERS McDowell loves performing in front of big crowds. Why wouldn't he when they love him back? G-Mac and funnyman Bill Murray were a hit at the Irish Open in June. Watch their post-round antics in the video above.
Summer of Golf 2012-13