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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018

McDowell admits he 'hasn't been good enough' after tumble down the world rankings

The Northern Irishman begins his season in Qatar this week.

Image: Steven Paston

MAJOR WINNER GRAEME McDowell says he is targeting a return to golf’s top table despite a barren few years and a slump to number 91 in the world.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Qatar Masters, the 2010 US Open winner, who was once ranked as high as number four in the world, admitted his recent form has not been “good enough”.

“My on-course performance has not been… good enough the last few years,” the 37-year-old told reporters.

“I guess coming to the start of the next few years, I’ve tried to view it as a long road back toward the top of the game.

“That’s where I want to be again, give myself chances to win major championships again. I know I’ve got a lot of things to work on.”

The Northern Irishman, now based in Florida with a young family, has not won a tournament on the European Tour in almost three years.

He also missed out on selection for last year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, and said he was desperate to be back in the team for 2018.

“I think that certainly was a big week for me to sit at home and watch that.

“It was very motivating, very inspiring. When I look to France to 2018, a golf course which I love, I certainly want to be there, that’s for sure.”

Despite his loss in form in recent years, McDowell still remains one of the biggest attractions at this week’s tournament in a field which includes rising stars such as Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood as well as veterans Ernie Els and Jose Maria Olazabal.

Also playing is the European team’s 2018 Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn.

This year is the 20th edition of the Qatar Masters, which is part of the European Tour’s “Desert Swing”, which sees tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as well as Qatar, in the first two months of the season.

Past winners in Doha include Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia.

This year, players will battle it out for a $416,660 first prize.

The 2017 tournament is finishing for the first time on a Sunday, rather than Saturday to coincide with the final day of the weekend in the Gulf, to try and bump up global television audiences.

– Headline updated at 11.07am

© – AFP, 2017

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