McDowell fears he’s lost top gear

McDowell fears he’s lost top gear
 Graeme McDowell watches a putt on the eighth hole during the first round of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. on Friday, June 17, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Michael Cohen)

Graeme McDowell watches a putt on the eighth hole during the first round of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. on Friday, June 17, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Michael Cohen)

Major player Graeme McDowell fears he’s lost the ability to slam his foot on the gas when  conditions are easy.

The Ulsterman, 36, knows he has the game and the links experience now to be a major factor at Royal Troon.

But he also admits that playing the toughest events and facing the best players in the world every week has caused him to lose some of his attacking mojo and go into defensive mode.

And he’s praying he doesn’t need a birdie barrage this week

G-Mac said: “When I played in my first major here in 2004, I just remember being a little rabbit in the headlights.  I couldn’t play those first four or five holes. I just didn’t have the tools for the job. 

“Now know how to get around these courses and I have the peace of mind to know that I don’t have to take it on all the time. 

“It’s a major championship and the courses are set up so much more difficult compared to the average PGA Tour event where we are used to taking on courses all the time.

“I don’t shoot as many low scores as I used to because I am playing a tough schedule and major championship style golf courses most weeks. 

“The 63s and 64s, you don’t shoot too many of those at the Bay Hills and Hondas and those venues.”

McDowell doesn’t expect to need his low scoring boots this week but he felt he missed a chance to win the Scottish Open last week.

He said: ”I used to shoot a lot of 63s and 64s but now with the schedule I play, everything is a major style event and you are taking on the best players in the world all the time. 

“You get stuck in that level par mode and in that scenario like Castle Stuart last weekend, when you need to be in 65 mode, it is not there.

“Hopefully it doesn’t apply this week.”