MX23RW : Tuesday, September 18 20:07:02

Graeme McDowell expects tough path to Ryder Cup

McDowell expects tough path to Ryder Cup
© PA Photos
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell admits that it will be a tough task to qualify for next year's Ryder Cup.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell has said that it will be a tough task to qualify for next year's Ryder Cup.

The 32-year-old secured the winning point at Celtic Manor 12 months ago, in a year which saw him win his first major title in the US Open at Pebble Beach.

Since then McDowell has suffered a dip in form but is determined to bounce back in the coming months.

He lies just one shot off the lead after day one of the Dunhill Links championships currently taking place in Scotland.

"For a guy who has been struggling for a little bit of motivation, somehow when the Ryder Cup qualifying went off a few weeks back it gets your attention, starts you focusing and helps you build toward something," McDowell said.

"I have a huge amount of respect for Ollie (Europe team captain Jose Maria Olazabal) and I want to be part of that Ryder Cup team very badly because I think he's going to be an unbelievable captain and it's going to be a great experience that week."

European players currently make up more than a third of the world's top 30 and McDowell knows it will be extremely tough to qualify for next year's team.

"I think it's going to be one of the hardest-fought Ryder Cup teams to be a part of. I know how well I'm going to have to play to be on the team and it's given me a lot of focus."

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