Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
Lahinch GC, Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland 04 Jul 2019 - 07 Jul 2019
Wednesday, 03 July 2019
Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)
Graeme McDowell (Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell will be looking to roll the clock back to his amateur days when he tees it up in the Rolex Series at this week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The Northern Irishman has been a winner before at Lahinch Golf Club, taking the title at the South of Ireland Championship back in 2000 as he enjoyed a very fruitful summer.

He also won the Irish Amateur Close Championship which was held at Royal Portrush Golf Club, the venue for The Open Championship in two weeks' time.

Much has changed in the last 19 years and McDowell admits he knows a lot more about Portrush than its southern neighbour that he will tackle this week, but the 2010 U.S. Open champion also knows another double triumph can return him to golf's very top table.

"I think I won the Western Irish Links and I had won in the South down here and then won the Close up in Portrush which was pretty special," he said.

"To win at Lahinch and Portrush again this summer, that would be special. That would be a pretty cool way to get myself back to where I want to be in this sport.

"I certainly feel like I'm playing well enough to do it. I'm focused on the present here, I would love to try and compete and win this weekend.

"There's a lot to achieve these three weeks. If I can compete twice, I don't really care which two weeks they are, it's just about being competitive. You can't be choosy about when you compete and I'm just trying to compete as much as I can at the minute."

This week and The Open sandwich another Rolex Series event at the Abderdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, as links golf takes centre stage on the Race to Dubai.

"It's a fantastic venue," McDowell added. "Certainly no complaints from a golf course set-up point of view. It's really, really good.

To win at Lahinch and Portrush again this summer, that would be special - Graeme McDowell

"I always have great memories of the town here. The Guinness tastes good down in this part of the world and great hospitality and great people. I always have amazing memories.

"Links golf when it's firm, you don't have to bomb. You've got to drive it well at Lahinch, especially on that front nine. There's a few quirky little holes there and if you're out of position it can really bite you.

"The golf course is strong enough to keep guys honest, so you're going to have to play some pretty good golf and I think it fits my game."

McDowell's last win on the European Tour came in 2014 but he has a victory on the US PGA Tour this season and is aiming to get back into the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking from his current position of 91st.

"Being top 50 by the end of the year is kind of a big goal for me, get myself in all the big events next year," he said. "Certainly top 50 felt very unachievable three, four months ago and I feel like it's very achievable between now and the end of the season."

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1RAHM, JonESP18-16
T4ROCK, RobertENG18-13

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