Eleven years ago, Graeme McDowell holed an eight-foot birdie putt to capture the 2008 Scottish Open at Loch Lomond and secure his place in a maiden European Ryder Cup team.
McDowell tees-up in this week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open on the Renaissance course looking not only to capture a second Scottish title but remind new European Team captain, Padraig Harrington there is Ryder Cup life in the ‘old golfing dog’ yet.
GMac arrived on the very private course to the east of Edinburgh with a spring very much still in his step having qualified for next week’s Open Championship, and this despite missing last week’s Irish Open cut at Lahinch.
It’s the first time the European Tour has come to The Renaissance Club that is laid-out right alongside Muirfield, the famous course that hosted the 2013 Open.
McDowell has contested the event on six occasions since what was the fourth of now 10 European Tour wins, with a best result of T10th in 2016 at Castle Stuart.
“Winning the Scottish Open back in ’08 was one of my most memorable victories for a lot of reasons,” he said.
“Firstly, it was the first time my parents were present to see me win, as they were in the crowd at the back of 18 which was really cool.
“I had a two-shot lead coming down the last and hit my second shot to about eight-feet and Kenny (Comboy – caddy) said to me, ‘you realise you’ve just made the Ryder Cup team’.
“It gives me goose bumps just talking about it now, so that was one of the best 200-yard or 180-yard walks of my career to then.
“And if I were to win the Scottish Open this week again, it would be me again putting myself fully back in the picture to be on the next Ryder Cup team.
“I am definitely going to be part of the team one way or another and for the next 15-months or so, it is going to be high-up in my set of goals in getting myself on Padraig’s team.
“He has already alluded to the fact I will be there in one shape or form.
“I enjoyed the vice-captaincy role last year but there’s nothing like playing in a European Team and winning here this week would firstly be great form to take into next week, and secondly putting me back into the frame of being one of the top European players.
“So, the message would be, if I were to win a second Scottish Open is that there is still much life in the old golfing dog!”
McDowell tees off alongside Lucas Bjerregaard and Matt Kuchar this afternoon at 13.10.
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