• Ryder Cup

McDowell: I could miss out on Gleneagles

ESPN staff
February 6, 2014
McDowell sank the putt that won Europe the Ryder Cup in 2010 © PA Photos

As Graeme McDowell embarks on his 2014 campaign, the Northern Irishman reveals he is "acutely aware" he could miss out on this year's Ryder Cup.

McDowell will tee up on Thursday at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - the scene of his maiden and, to date, only major victory at the US Open four years ago.

And as he prepares for his first competitive action since Tiger Woods' World Challenge in early December, McDowell is already looking forward to the end of the campaign - and specifically the biennial showdown between Europe and the United States.

Writing in his monthly blog for BBC Sport, the 34-year-old said: "A fourth consecutive Ryder Cup is a massive goal.

"[European captain] Paul McGinley was at a 'Best of Ireland' charity foundation event with me in New York at the end of last week and we had a good chat about it. He feels he's got all the logistics in place and now it's all about player communication.

"My feeling is that I just want that to arrive amid good, consistent golf. Getting into the team for Gleneagles will be the result of good processes and good play.

"It is very early to get obsessed about it, but come May and June, form is going to be more important. I just know I have to give him all the reasons to have me in the side - ideally qualifying automatically and not having to rely on one of his three wildcard picks.

"Looking at the numbers, there are three or four players who already seem locked in to the team - the likes of Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, Thomas Bjorn and Jamie Donaldson.

"None of them played at Medinah last time so it's clear some good players are going to miss out and I'm acutely aware it could be me. That's why you just have to focus on your game and let the Ryder Cup come in a run of good form."

McDowell went through a bizarre run in the middle of last year, where he won his first regular PGA Tour event at the Heritage, before missing the cut in his next event. He then won the World Match Play Championship before missing three straight cuts, then won again at the French Open.

"We called it 'binary golf'," he joked. "It was a crazy run and made for an interesting year. But it was inconsistent and looking back there were a few factors.

"It was a tired summer from the US Open onwards. It's something I'm working on because I hit the wall and, while my heart was beating, the body wasn't responding.

"It's why I've once again taken a big break before starting my 2014 season. I've got to be in position to be ready for all the big events - the majors, my title defences, the PGA play-offs and of course the Ryder Cup."

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