PORTRUSH man Graeme McDowell feels he is in the form of his life ahead of this week’s US Open at Merrion.
McDowell, with two victories already to his name this season heads into the event as one of Europe’s big hopes, particularly with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood all out of sorts.
The Northern Irishman has not missed a cut in seven appearances in the year’s second major and from 2009 his record reads 18th, first, 14th, second, so it is no wonder the 33-year-old approaches Merion more worried about tempering expectations than anything else.
“You could say I’m in the form of my life going into an event in which certainly my record kind of speaks for itself,” McDowell said.
“I feel like I’m a substantially better player than I was three years ago.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot from this process that I’ve gone through the last two and a half years, winning the US Open, getting comfortable with deserving that US Open, getting comfortable with the player I was trying to become, acclimatising myself to being in the top 10, 20, 30 in the world, a new status in the game.”
“But talking about what I’ve learned and what’s making me better as a player, certainly expectation levels are dangerous, no doubt about it. You can never get ahead of yourself in this game.
“The second that you think you’ve got it nailed it kicks you hard. Any time you think you deserve something or you think you’re owed something it typically doesn’t give it to you. I’ll be making sure I’m in check over the summer.
“I guess I’m starting to realise that and I’ve learned to have no more major expectations and I think that’s why I’m feeling more comfortable on the golf course.”