McDowell stays positive despite collapse

May 16, 2011
Golf - PGA - Bet Now at Bet365

Graeme McDowell insisted there were plenty of positives to take despite a disastrous final-round 79 that cost him a chance of victory at the Players' Championship.

Having led the field by one stroke going into the fourth round, the US Open champion suffered a slump similar to compatriot Rory McIlroy at last month's US Masters to finish in a lowly 33rd place.

McDowell was still tied for the lead with 13 holes to play but ran out of steam at Sawgrass leaving KJ Choi and David Toms to fight it out for the title, with the former winning at the first play-off hole.

The Northern Irishman blamed tiredness for his final-round meltdown after having to get up early on Sunday to finish off his third round.

But, having missed the cut in three of his previous four events, McDowell was delighted with his return to form in the first three rounds as he continues his preparations for defending his US Open title at Congressional on 16th June. He can be backed at 28/1 to retain his crown while Phil Mickelson is at 10/1 and Tiger Woods is at 11/1.

He said: "I said that no matter what happened over the weekend I was going to take some really big positives.

"To be honest I felt I ran out of steam a little bit. After bogeys on six and seven I felt the energy sucked right out of me. I went flat and everything I tried to do went a little wrong.

"I felt my legs were a little tired this afternoon. I was up at 4.35am (to play the last 12 holes of his third round), but it was the same for everybody, there are no excuses.

"I didn't have the energy levels to pick myself up and I tried to force the issue a little bit. I went chasing and this course will do that to you. This is going to hurt for a few hours, but we will move on quickly."

Luke Donald tied for fourth place to register his seventh successive top-ten finish and move above Ryder Cup team-mate Martin Kaymer into second place in the world rankings.

With Lee Westwood ranked number one, it is the first time ever that Englishmen have occupied the top two places in the standings since they were introduced.

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