Graeme McDowell walked from the final Bay Hill green joking that he needed to look for a padded cell after four tougher-than-normal days at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
McDowell had been just three shots from the first day lead in posting an opening 68 but the conditions toughened significantly for the remaining three rounds to make a virtual mockery of the game’s best.
GMac posted a second round 74 to easily make the cut but ended with a weekend pair of 76s.
And McDowell was not alone, with none in the 69-player field managing to break 70 on day three and it was the same scenario on day four, with the Ulster golfer meeting-up with his wife and children along with his visiting parents to be sharing 33rd place at four-over par in total.
“It was a tough four days out there and I’m now looking for a padded cell,” he said smiling.
“I was disappointed I didn’t play the Honda last week as that may have helped my game this week but in saying that I am probably going into the Players this week a little fresher that I would have.
“It has just been a very mentally demanding test this week and especially when you don’t have your ‘A’ game as I drove the ball badly this week, and it’s just not the way to play Bay Hill.”
Indeed, McDowell hit 6 of 14 fairways on both day one and two, 11 of 14 on Saturday and just six over the final round for 26 of 56 fairways.
His final day’s effort was a mix five bogeys in his opening 11 holes and then birdies at 13 and 16 before a bogey at the 72nd hole.
“It has been very unusual to get the wind coming in four different directions for the four days as we started off with a westerly that changed into a north-west and then a north-east and today it was turning easterly”, he said.
“It meant that the wind really couldn’t let you settle in and get comfortable with your game plan, so overall it was a tough test.
“The greens were also getting quicker and quicker as the weekend went on and this golf course is tough enough at the best of times without the added toughness.
“The big key to this golf course is if you find the fairway you can potentially make a score from there.”
McDowell has heading home to his Lake Nona residence and indicating he will find his way to the Players Championship at the famed TPC Sawgrass on Monday afternoon US time.
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