The Northern Irishman has missed a number of halfway cuts in recent weeks and admits that it was a relief to perform so impressively over the weekend at the future Ryder Cup venue.
"It's very special after the last couple of months," said McDowell. "It's been a bit of a battle. It's been a funny year.
"My game has not felt far away most weeks but I have missed a lot more cuts than normal and missing cuts hurts. It certainly motivated me a lot the last few weeks.
"The US Open was a tough one to take and missing the cut in Ireland last week; it made me more hungry to want to be in positions like I was this afternoon."
McDowell has won three tournaments this season.