Wednesday, October 28

Brian Keogh: G-Mac Hungry for Turkish Delight

By Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.


News from Brian Keogh's
Irish Golf Desk.
GRAEME MCDOWELL INSISTS A TASTE of Turkish delight this week could transform the year from hell into the promise of a sweet '16 to come. The former US Open champion has slipped from 15th to 80th In the world this season and insists he will write off the European Tour season and turn his attention to the last two Fall Series events of the year in the US if he fails to grab a top-two finish on his debut in this week's Turkish Airlines Open. 

The 36-year-old Portrush man could be facing a difficult 2016 if he remains outside the world's Top 50 in a Ryder Cup year. But he honestly believes he's slowly turning the corner with his game and reckons one good finish somewhere in the world over the course of the next month will put a different complexion on what's been a 2015 campaign to forget.

"I'd take a top five and a top 10 over these next three or four weeks here and sit down over my Christmas dinner and say, alright, not my best year but we are still where we need to be and we are ready to go," McDowell said as he played the back nine on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal for the first time.

Ranked 64th in the Race to Dubai and needing only a modest finish to make the top 60 who qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, McDowell has set his sights far higher.

"Obviously I am not in the DP World Tour Championship right now," McDowell said. "But if I had a big week this week, it would change things. If I don't make a serious impact and I can't get myself into the top-20 in the Race to Dubai from this week, I am not really going to pursue it because the Earth Course in Dubai is not really a good golf course for me anyway."

Reunited with his old "fundamentals" coach Clive Tucker as well as current swing fixer Pete Cowen, he added: "I am highly motivated and I really felt like I have turned the corner so I am just trying to remain very patient and take each week as it comes and each week is an opportunity."

His potential 2016 season is not a concern right now, not because he doesn't have headaches, but because he's living week to week in search of that jackpot performance.

"I will cross that bridge when I come to it," McDowell said of his plans. "I have got this week plus those two Fall Series, which is my most likely route. One or two decent finishes and I am back where I want to be and I can salvage something out of the year."

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

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