From Brian Keogh in Orlando

Graeme McDowell is gunning for a top-ten finish in next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational so he can get a pre-Masters workout in Houston.

The Ulsterman, 29, roared back to form in the Tavistock Cup when he shot a 66 at Lake Nona to earn $400,000 and fire the home side victory over Tiger Woods’ Isleworth on St Patrick’s Day.

Feeling he hasn’t played enough golf so far this season, the Portrush ace hoped to get a sponsor’s invite for the Shell Houston Open the week before Augusta.

But all the invites have already been ear-marked, which means that the Ryder Cup start must finish in the top-ten at Bay Hill to get another four rounds of practice alongside Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy in Texas.

McDowell said: “From these two days, I'm certainly going to be saving a few shots that I've hit in the memory banks and try to pull on some confidence when I tee it up next week at Bay Hill.

“It's been a frustrating start to the season, but I think I'm putting all the right things into place.”

McDowell won a total of $400,000 for his efforts — $100,000 for being a member of the winning team and another $300,000 for winning the Payne Stewart Salver Award, given to the player with the best stroke-play score in the second round

He had planned to celebrate St Patrick's Day at his Lake Nona home on Tuesday night, but the party started a bit earlier than expected — on the 18th green at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club late in the afternoon.

McDowell now plans to take his father Kenny to Augusta on Sunday for a practice round before heading to Bay Hill.