Graeme McDowell hopes to kick Irish Open off 'bucket list'


Graeme McDowell will be hoping to bounce back from a US Open missed cut by winning the Irish Open at Carton House this weekend.

The Northern Irishman joins a strong field - including compatriots Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke - taking part in this year's European Tour event, as preparation continues for The Open Championship at Muirfield next month.

"There's no doubt the Irish Open is on my golfing bucket list," admitted the 33-year-old. "It's an event that I've never really competed in. 

"It's an event I would love to win and I would love to add it to my CV."

With two tournament successes to his name already in 2013 - following a play-off win over Webb Simpson at the RBC Heritage, and victory at the Volvo World Match Play Championship - McDowell is hoping to rediscover that sort of form to carry him back to the winners circle  on Sunday.

And, the world number nine needs little motivation to perform well this week - in the competition's first return to Carton House since 2006 - as he looks to end a drought for Northern Ireland in the tournament that dates back almost 70 years, since Fred Daly claimed victory in 1946.

"To win your national Open is a very special win in a player's heart," explained McDowell. "It's been almost 70 years since a Northern Irish player has won this event. 

"That's a stat we would love to change this weekend. There's no doubt I would love to win this one. It's certainly one I'll be giving 100 per cent to this week.

"It kicks off a very busy summer of golf for me and Merion has done nothing but motivate me and make me more hungry for being in the mix come the weekend. I'm ready to go this week and I'm looking forward to it."




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