Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Graeme McDowell has had his first look at the course where he will defend the US Open next month - and was left hoping it will have changed by the time he returns.
The Northern Irishman admitted that the front nine at Congressional near Washington "beat me up" and that the 523-yard par four 18th is "probably the toughest hole I've maybe ever played".

McDowell, Europe's first winner of the title since Tony Jacklin in 1970, hopes that not all the back tees will be used for the second major of the year. If they are the course measures nearly 7,600 yards and is a par 71.

The 494-yard 11th, another par four, was out of reach to the Ryder Cup hero even off a good drive and three-wood second up the hill.

"I'm hoping I've got the wrong tee. If they're selling four fours that week I'll buy them for plenty.

"Tough to say at this point if the golf course suits my game. I mean it was long this morning. I'm hoping it's going to firm up a little bit.

"Of course the US Open is always a premium on accuracy, but out there this morning there was certainly a premium on distance as well.

"I've been off the boil for a couple months. I haven't been very happy with my game, my long game especially, and I'm certainly experiencing a bit of the rougher side of the game at the minute.

"It was all so easy there at the end of the last season and the start of this year. The game can beat you up sometimes and I'm certainly starting to appreciate the good times now.

"I am looking forward to the challenge of digging my way out of this again and getting back to playing well. Every now and again you need a bit of a kick in the butt."



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