Saturday 20 December 2014

McDowell left green with envy

Published 20/07/2014 | 18:53

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell is envious of fellow countryman's dominance at The Open
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell is envious of fellow countryman's dominance at The Open

Graeme McDowell admitted he was envious of Rory McIlroy after his fellow Northern Irishman's victory at the Open Championship.

McIlroy held off the challenge of Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler to win at Royal Liverpool by two strokes and capture his third major title.

McDowell performed impressively himself on the final day, shooting a five-under-par 67 to finish in a tie for ninth on 10 under, and was frustrated not to have been challenging higher up.

The 34-year-old, winner of the US Open in 2010, told reporters: "They just asked me in there what my emotions are for Rory, as I watched him walk to the 16th tee box.

"I used the word 'jealousy,' but I think what I really meant was 'envious'.

"Envious because I'd love to walk down the 18th fairway with an opportunity to win the Claret Jug.

"I'd love it to be me. It's the greatest walk in world golf. It's in there inside me somewhere. Some year it will be my year, hopefully."

McDowell has much admiration for McIlroy's achievement, with the 25-year-old having led at Hoylake since the end of the first round.

He said: "I have a huge amount of appreciation for what he's doing and respect for what he is in the game of golf, and how good he is for the game of golf. So, great stuff."

As for his own performance, McDowell regarded the week as a good opportunity to double his major tally missed.

McDowell, who wrapped up his tournament with an eagle three at the 18th hole, said: "I said at the start of the week that this venue, it was my type of venue - not super long, not a lot of advantage for the big boys to take trouble out of play, good iron play and big flat greens where I can putt well.

"These were greens that I felt I could putt well on and did putt well on. Yes, opportunity missed but could I have caught him (McIlroy)? I don't know."

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