Graeme McDowell speaking to mental coach Dr Bob Rotella on day two of the US Open. Picture Fran Caffrey/www.golffile.ieGraeme McDowell believes that laughter could be the best medicine for his Open agony.

The Portrush ace, 32 next Saturday, crashed out at Sandwich after a nightmare second day and confessed that trying too hard had turned him into “a mental case” at Royal St George’s.

And that’s why he heads to Killarney for this week’s Irish Open hoping that the party atmosphere will help him have fun on the course and play his best golf.

Kicking off a marathon six-event run in the next eight weeks, G-Mac said: “Missing the cut in the Open was obviously very disappointing for me but I need to regroup

“I have a few big weeks ahead and I’m going to try and enjoy them more.

“I’m going to continue to work hard but put less pressure on myself. Just go out there, play my best and try and enjoy it a bit more.”

McDowell missed the cut by two shots in the Open and explained that while his game was good, his mental approach was all wrong.

Trying too hard to top his amazing 2010 campaign, he said: “Maybe I want it too badly.  I need to take a close look at how I am thinking at the minute because I’m not thinking very well.”

McDowell spent last week at home in Portrush where Darren Clarke has been celebrating his emotional Open victory.

McDowell said: “I am absolutely delighted for Darren. He thoroughly deserved his win. He has been playing very well for the last few months and a major was long overdue.”

US Open Rory McIlroy remained fourth in the latest world rankings with McDowell down one spot to 12th.

Padraig Harrington’s slide continued following his missed cut in the Open as he fell another two places to 64th.

But the Dubliner used his weekend off there to work with mental guru Dr Bob Rotella and reckons he’s cured his putting headaches.

Harrington explained: “I just couldn’t put my finger on the problem.  

“Bob and I worked on it before the tournament started and I thought we had figured it out but it still wasn’t working.  

“On Saturday evening we talked about it again, did some work and I believe that we hit the nail on the head.  

“Ultimately it came down to the fact that I hadn’t fully committed to my preparation and so I was still trying to figure out what I was doing over the ball.  

“Once I got this clear in my head it felt so much better.  It was very disappointing to miss the cut but I feel that the work I got done over the weekend will pay big dividends in the coming weeks.”