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July 16 2013

4:06 PM

McDowell lauds Muirfield as 'fair test'


Graeme McDowell has won three times worldwide in 2013, including the RBC Heritage. (Carr/Getty Images)

By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM

Graeme McDowell won in his last start before The Open Championship, at the French Open, but that may not be a good omen for this week. He has three wins, including the RBC Heritage, and five missed cuts in his past eight starts, following each victory with a missed cut. “I think my season has not felt as inconsistent as perhaps it's read,” McDowell said before pointing out that most of those missed cuts have been by small margins. “It hasn't really been as bad as it's read. I felt fairly decent with my game most of the year.”

He had a chance to win last year’s Open Championship, playing with Adam Scott in Sunday’s final group. He shot a final-round 75 to finish five shots back of Ernie Els in fifth place.

Muirfield was the only course in the rotation that McDowell had never played before, but he played it last week after winning the French Open. He called this week’s site a “fair test,” and said that’s why 13 of the 15 Open Championships at Muirfield have been won by World Golf Hall of Fame members.

“When a links golf course starts to play firm and fast, some of the fairways can be quite undulating and lots of humps and hollows. That's just the nature of links golf,” McDowell said. “If you catch the wrong side of a slope or downslope or upslope, it can be construed as quite unfair. I don't think there is anything like that on this course. This course is just all there in front of you. You hit the shots, they'll be where you expect them to be.”

McDowell will play the opening rounds at Muirfield with Tiger Woods and 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen.

“I tweeted early in the week, that Tiger and Louis' golf swings are probably two of my favorite swings in the world,” McDowell said. “So that's never bad to play beside two guys with the rhythm and golf swings like they have. I'll be very excited about that pairing and the obvious natural intensity that that brings and I'll be using that to my advantage.”

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