Graeme McDowell has by no means been one to rationalize bad play—specifically his very own. That’s why it wasn’t unexpected on Sunday after his victory within the Corrales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship that indeed one of his first remarks become, “It’s been a hard few years.” Maybe it’s because of their u. S. A .’s afflicted records, but individuals who come from Northern Ireland and play golfing, seem to have little hassle telling the reality, whether it’s David Feherty, Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy, or McDowell. “When you’ve been in a bar that blows up about 15 minutes after you evacuate, announcing you had an awful day on the golf course isn’t too hard,” Clarke as soon as said. “When I’m awful, I know I’m awful, so why have to I try to fake it wasn’t so?”
This is why McDowell had little issue Sunday in noting that his first victory because the fall of 2015 turned into a long-term coming—and that there were masses of horrific golfing in among.
In 2010, McDowell completed the yr ranked 6th inside the Official World Golf Rankings, but there was no doubt that he became the yr player. He won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and had four respectable wins worldwide. He also scored the clinching factor for Europe at the Ryder Cup that September. He made lengthy putts on Sunday in an otherwise meaningless exhibition—one to get into a playoff, the alternative to winning the playoff—and beat Tiger Woods inside the season-ending tournament he hosts. (If the opponent were anybody, however Woods, the exhibition victory might have been little noticed nor lengthy remembered. But it was Woods. And so, it capped an outstanding 12 months.)
At 31, McDowell became both a celebrity and a superstar. There become a documentary (diminish infomercial) produced approximately him called “Being Graeme McDowell.” He becomes on “The Tonight Show.” He even had a cameo on an episode of the HBO collection, “Entourage.” McDowell endured to win and frequently contend for the next 4 years. He completed T-2 on the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club and become T-five a month later on the Open Championship. In reality, his worst end in a first-rate in 2012 turned into a T-12 on the Masters. It changed into that year that McDowell built a home at Lake Nona in Orlando and employed Kristin Stape as his interior dressmaker. They began courting soon after and had been married 12 months later. Two kids got here alongside, no longer lengthy after that. Then came an eating place—Nona Blue—in conjunction with all the various endorsements that have been signed inside the wake of McDowell’s breakout yr in 2010.
The golf equipment Graeme McDowell used to win inside the Dominican. Life, on and off the golf direction. The paintings ethic that had helped make him a celebrity took a success, no longer so much because McDowell didn’t have the choice anymore, however, because he frequently didn’t have the time. He gained at Harbour Town in 2013—beating Webb Simpson in a playoff nine months after Simpson had crushed him at Olympic—and gained again in France a year later. Then, in the fall of 2014, he went 3-zero for Europe inside the Ryder Cup fits at Gleneagles. He partnered Ryder Cup rookie Victor Dubuisson to clean victories on Friday and Saturday, after which he beat Jordan Spieth, 2 and 1, inside the commencing singles in shape on Sunday. And then got here the slide—damaged handiest with the aid of a win at Mayakoba overdue in 2015. He did not make the Ryder Cup group in 2016 even though Clarke, Europe’s captain that 12 months, wanted very tons to have him on a team that had six learners. “He simply wasn’t playing nicely sufficient to justify it,” Clarke stated that 12 months. “I would have cherished to have had his revel in and to have him within the group room. However, I just couldn’t do it.”
A yr later, in 25 begins in the U.S. And Europe, McDowell didn’t have a unmarried top-ten finish. He had the last yr—one in Europe and one within the U.S.—however, he arrived at Corrales Puntacana ultimate week ranked 257th within the world, having completed one hundred and sixtieth inside the FedEx Cup standings a year ago. His handiest exempt repute changed into as a past champion. He had shown some signs and symptoms of life earlier inside the 2018-’19 season, finishing T-eleven at the RSM Classic in November and T-18 at Pebble Beach, wherein he returned to the scene of his best victory.