Graeme McDowell threw away precious world ranking points and a cool $200,000 as he was mangled in the Bear Trap at the Honda Classic.

But the Ulsterman believes he can bite back in this week’s WGC-CA Championship at Doral by taking a chunk out of the famous Blue Monster.

McDowell dropped EIGHT shots on the three-hole stretch named after designer Jack Nicklaus over the weekend.

Instead of challenging for his first US win, he crashed to 31st place behind Camilo Villegas with the killer blow a quadruple bogey seven at the 17th.

Licking his wounds after an expensive weekend, McDowell said: “Obviously that was a very costly end to my tournament.

“It was costly from a a prize money perspective, but also with regards world ranking points. 

“I think I am now 50th in the world and I had a good opportunity to move up the rankings, but unfortunately the Bear Trap had a say in that!”

Doral in 1962McDowell was just a shot off the lead with a hole to play in Friday’s second round when his luck started to change.

First he confessed that he grounded his club in a hazard at the finishing par-five 18th and took a two-stroke penalty on the chin.

But the real damage was done over the water-protected, three hole stretch from the 15th to the 17th.

His title chances evaporated on Saturday he bogeyed the 15th and then doubled the 16th to fall seven shots behind leader Villegas.

He still had his sights set on a top-five finish that would have taken the pressure off him and cemented his place in the world’s top 50.

But his tournament ended in disaster with a bogey at the 16th and a horrendous quadruple bogey seven at the 17th, where he dumped two balls in the water.

Those mistakes meant that the Ryder Cup star earned just over $30,000 when he had a cheque for over a quarter of a million in his sights.

Yet he refused to get down on himself, insisting that he is playing well enough to bounce back in this week’s $8.5m World Golf Championship in Miami.

The Blue Monster at DoralMcDowell insisted: “I played some great golf this week and bar a few costly errors I could have been right in contention.  

“I have been playing well for a few months now, although my results may not suggest that.  I am very close to where I want to be, and very close to getting a big result.

“The WGC-CA event is really tough, with all the best players in the World competing on a demanding golf course.  Fingers crossed I continue to play well this week and be right up there come Sunday.”

Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy failed to sparkle and tied for 41st place behind eventual champion Villegas.

But while McIlroy remained at ninth in the latest world rankings, Harrington slipped three places to 13th.

The Dubliner was overtaken by Honda Classic winner Villegas, whose third PGA Tour win lifted him nine places to 12th in the latest list.