Turnberry seems to have a heritage of producing world-class winners and leaderboards in the Open, and at 10 o’clock this morning the top names on the board stuck with tradition. The top five read: Westwood – Calcavecchia – Garcia – Watson – McDowell. What a start.
It will be intriguing to see if Golf Monthly columnist Graeme McDowell can convert his bright start into a sustained challenge. The Portrush golfer has links pedigree and all the natural ability in the world, which sounds something a like a solid foundation for Open golf, but in now, in mid-July
he is still looking to kick-start his season.
McDowell enjoyed the best season of his career in 2008. He won twice, made his Ryder Cup debut and for the first time he finished a season inside the world’s top 50. That gave him the luxury of being able to scale back his playing schedule for 2009, safe in the knowledge his world ranking would automatically qualify him for all the most important tournaments in world golf. He took some extra time off at the beginning of the year to conserve energy, but then when he did get his season underway he struggled to string together four good rounds at a time.
McDowell has shown signs of finding some form, and he recorded his first top-10 result of the year at the St Jude Classic in Memphis in June. He is too good a player to stay in the doldrums for long, but it would be great if he could click into gear this week.