McDowell confident of completing his Augusta ‘Puzzle’

Bernie McGuire
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McDowell confident of completing his Augusta ‘Puzzle’

Graeme McDowell (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell is confident his form will be good enough over the next month to be rewarded with an invitation to contest the Masters.

McDowell jumped 57 spots to World No. 47 in capturing the recent Saudi Invitational but in the ensuing month he’s dropped three spots to be ranked No. 50 coming into this week.

And if GMac is to join Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry from April 9th to 12th at Augusta National he needs to be top-50 on March 30th.

“Augusta’s the only moving piece of the puzzle the next couple months,” he said.

“I love Augusta. It is my favorite course in the world. It doesn’t love me very much, though.  And I would love to be there. I want to see my kids in boiler suits. That’s kind of the visual. I haven’t had a chance to do the Par-3 Contest with my kids yet because I haven’t played the last few years.

“So, I want to have the kids up at Augusta this year. That would be fun. But like I say, it’s not going to change my life here in the short-term.

“I have a great schedule playing this week here at Bay Hill, the Players Championship, the Match-Play and the Valero Texas Open the week prior the Masters.

“I’ve then got the PGA Championship, the US Open, the WGC in Memphis and hopefully The Open, so in the right place.”

McDowell tees-up in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational having enjoyed two second place results at Bay Hill and also has shaken off the illness that spoilt last month’s WGC – Mexico Championship campaign.

“I had a really heavy head cold that week of Mexico and being at altitude I just didn’t feel all that well but it was important I teed it up,” he said.

“I then hit the reset button and got better, so it was good to get it out of the system while it was great being back home because I’ve hardly been home at all this year.

“I started this year with two weeks in Hawaii, two weeks over in the Middle East playing Dubai and Saudi and then after Mexico we went on a family vacation before I headed to Mexico City.

“In hindsight, I probably should not have played Mexico but in hindsight we would all be billionaire’s or lying back on a beach somewhere.

“It’s great also to be back here at Bay Hill as the Arnold Palmer has been good to me because when I bought my house at Lake Nona, I finished second the week after.

“I met my wife here in Orlando and my children were born here. I am a business owner here and this is my home event, so I enjoy living here in Orlando.”

McDowell is being joined at this week’s Arnold Palmer by former champion, Rory McIlroy and European Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington.

McIlroy, as World No. 1, heads a Bay Hill field boasting 13 of the world’s leading 25 players.

IRISH TEE TIMES —-Irish time

 Padraig Harrington – 11.57am

Rory McIlroy – 12.54pm

Graeme McDowell – 5.33pm

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