Crestfallen Graeme McDowell admits he will now need to hit the ‘reset’ button after losing his Tour card following a disappointing 57th place result at the Wyndham Championship and ending his year 144th on the FedEx Cup standings.
McDowell had been the only one of four Irish to make the Greensboro halfway cut but saw his season finish disappointingly 15 shots behind American Brandt Snedeker.
It is the third time in the past four years that the 2010 US Open winning McDowell has failed to finish inside the top-125 but until last week he had been exempt.
‘G Mac’ handed over the last card in his deck, a two-year exemption for capturing the 2015/16 season Mayakoba Championship, late on Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“I’m just going to hit the reset button,” said McDowell. “I’ve played 14 of the last 17 weeks so it’s been a bit of a chase, unsuccessfully. The positives are my golf’s in good shape but I just haven’t capitalised on my good weeks well enough this season.”
“I’m not unbelievably dejected. I feel my game’s close and if I can keep chiselling away and make the strides forward I know I can, I feel like I’m a hell of a lot closer than this time last year.”
McDowell will now take five weeks off before heading to Paris and the Ryder Cup, for a first time without his clubs, as a one of Thomas Bjorn’s five Versailles vice-captains ahead of contesting the back-to-back Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and British Masters.
“I am not sure what I am doing after the Dunhill Links and British Masters, so it could be either chase the Race to Dubai or come back here and hopefully play some Fall Series,” he said.
And given McDowell’s enormous popularity, and his support for such initiatives as being an ambassaador at the Arnold Palmer Invitational along with his large charitable undertakings, he should be assured of plenty of touranment invitations in a year the U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach for the first time since his 2010 Father’s Day triumph.
“My main focus will continue to be the PGA Tour,” McDowell said. “I’ve got a great network of friends and tournaments I’ve supported over the years and hopefully that will stand me in good stead as I require some starts over the next season.”
We wish GMac well.