McDowell out to conquer Earth

11/13/2013 8:54:00 AM
Graeme McDowell  (Getty Images)
Graeme McDowell (Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell believes the incentive of winning The Race to Dubai can help improve his record at Jumeirah Golf Estates, the venue for this week's DP World Tour Championship.

McDowell is one of three players who will be guaranteed to finish the year as European Number One by claiming victory in the European Tour finale in Dubai, leader Henrik Stenson and US Open Champion Justin Rose being the others.

The Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates has previously not suited McDowell's game – he has not had a top-ten finish in four appearances - but the Northern Irishman believes firmer and faster conditions could play into his hands.

“I come here with an open mind this week,” said McDowell. “I come here certainly as a player who I feel is getting better and learning and I'm experience enough to not write myself off around a golf course until I've had a few rounds under my belt.

"The golf course is firmer and faster this year which I think is going to suit me. The rough is penal. The course has matured, hopefully as well as I have, and I'm ready to see what I can do with an open mind this week."

McDowell was second in The Race to Dubai until missing last week's Turkish Airlines Open, where Justin Rose finished joint third to overtake him, Ian Poulter was fifth to close the gap and Stenson seventh to keep his nose in front.

"I didn't have any second thoughts about whether I should be in Turkey or not, but I looked at the leaderboard and I was like 'Really? Those guys have to play well this week'" the former US Open Champion joked.

"But regardless of whether I was in Turkey or not, I would still be here this week controlling my own destiny and nothing has changed. I let my nearest competitors get a little further in front of me or catch up, but it doesn't change my strategy this week. I have to play well, I have to compete.

"You don't get many opportunities in a career to win an Order of Merit, a true order of merit. It's certainly something I'd love to add to my resume. A win here this week will take care of all business and I'm feeling fresh and motivated and excited to see what I can do here this week.

“When you're dreaming about what you would like to achieve in the professional tours, certainly Major Championships and Ryder Cups are right up there, and Order of Merits, Race to Dubais, are right up there as well. It’s certainly something I'd love to add to my resumé.”