Graeme McDowell speaks of his pride after epic Open experience
On a personal level the golf may not have gone the way Graeme McDowell would have wanted it to this week, but it did not dent his pride in the events unfolding on in Portrush.
Speaking after finishing on four over for the tournament McDowell spoke of his pride in his home town and the country as a whole.
“I’m not a hundred percent on top of my game at the minute,” he said.
“When it got tough out there I couldn’t get it in the fairway, lost ball on 8.
“Missing that fairway left was a killer blow, really knocked the wind out of my sails a little bit.
“I’m not going to let that spoil my week. It’s been special. I’ve enjoyed every second. There’s a few seconds I didn’t enjoy, maybe Thursday afternoon.
“But it’s been great. Really, really proud. I’m proud of Portrush and proud of Northern Ireland and I’m proud of Ireland. Ireland is pretty proud as we watch Shane Lowry trying to win. The people have been amazing this week.
“The golf course has been phenomenal. The R&A have done a phenomenal job here for the players and families and everyone involved, and hopefully the spectators.
“The golf course has been incredibly well presented. And everyone is telling me this is their favourite Open venue they’ve ever been to up.
“So many ticks in all the right boxes this week.”
GMac is hopeful it will not be too long before The Open is back on the north coast again.
“I’ve heard the whispers as well that we could be back here as soon as five years from now,” revealed McDowell.
“But I think with the financial commitment that Portrush have made for this, for it to get the recognition and then get back here soon, to keep that Portrush train rolling, it would be huge.
“If we have to wait another ten years, the icing might rub off between now and then. People might forget a little bit.
“Hopefully we can get back soon. It would be very, very special. The other golfers just love the golf course. They feel like it’s the best links they’ve ever seen. I think the balance this golf course has, it’s all there in front of you.
“It’s got in length, it’s got some short. It’s got some quirkiness in places. But it’s all there. It’s very fair.
“They’re just loving it. It was bathed in sunshine Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. So they got off to a flier.
“Get the microphones out here in the next few hours and get some comments and it might be slightly different though.
“But I think a links course you always want to test the guys and show them what’s possible, give them a chance in some nice conditions and see what they can do.
“But caddies and players and some of the commentating crew out there, people are saying it’s just one of the best links they’ve ever seen. Which is high praise from the best players in the world who get to play the best courses on the planet.”