Graeme McDowell hopes to draw inspiration from the crowd at this week’s Irish Open presented by Discover Ireland.
The former US Open Champion is joined at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club by fellow Irish Major Champions Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke, and the presence of so many home-grown stars is expected to lead to crowds of 100,000 over four days.
“I think it's in great condition,” McDowell, when asked about the course. “A little bit more growth than last year. It's a fun golf course - there's some strong holes. The two par threes on the front nine are particularly strong and there's a couple real tough par fours out there, as well.
“So it's a good test. You've got to play well. It seems like the crowds are going to be big, and it's going to be a lot of fun out there so it should be a good buzz.
“It's going to be very, very exciting to have 100,000 people coming to the Irish Open says something about the state of Irish golf perhaps. It's in decent shape I suppose - amazing to watch Rory obviously win the US Open, and then unfortunately to sit in my couch on the weekend and watch Darren win the Claret Jug, but just an amazing performance from him.”
Despite missing the cut at Sandwich, McDowell believes he is not far from rediscovering his best form, and hopes to draw strength from the results of his compatriots.
“You know, you end up pinching yourself. It is pretty tough to get your head around the fact that three Irishmen have won Majors in the last 13 months. It takes a little bit of, like I say, getting the head around.
“People are excited about it now, no doubt about it, and that's why they are going to come this week. That's why they are going to come and support the Irish players, and it's going to be very exciting.
“So I think the strength of Irish golf will help that happen this week, and like I say, the crowds are going to come and it's going to be hopefully - the sun shines, because this place is pretty spectacular in the sunshine - and it would be just an amazing place to hopefully get the rebirth of this tournament.
“I’ve worked on my short game a little bit, and probably just set some really good goals for the rest of the season.
“I've got a lot to look forward to, and my game is in good shape. I'm not getting anything out of the game at the minute. If anything, it's kicking me a little bit at the minute but I'm actually feeling particularly positive about my game at the minute and I've just got to stay on that track really.
“I'm very happy the way I'm hitting the golf ball. I've just got to try and stay patient, you know. Everything last year was pretty easy, and this year, it's a little tougher, and like I say, I'm getting a few kickings from the game, but it is what it is.”