Graeme McDowell desperate to win The Open’s Claret Jug

Graeme McDowell is quizzed by the media
Graeme McDowell is quizzed by the media

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell is desperate to get his hands on the Claret Jug to prove he is not a one-hit wonder, no matter what it costs.

“I’d give my left arm for the Claret Jug. I would, actually. That would be the end of my career, but it would be a nice way to go,” McDowell joked on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old from Portrush, which is expected to stage the Open in 2019, won the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010 and was joint second at Olympic Club in 2012 before securing his best Open finish of joint fifth a month later at Royal Lytham.

He also led after an opening 66 the last time the Open was staged at Hoylake in 2006 - before fading to 61st - and goes into the 2014 event buoyed by defending his French Open title at Le Golf National a fortnight ago.

“I feel like I’m ready to kick on to the next chapter in my career now and compete and win more major championships,” McDowell said. “I certainly don’t want to be a one-hit wonder and I’ve learned a lot over the last few years since my US Open victory.

“This is my kind of golf course this week and I want to give myself as many opportunities as I can to win majors. Winning regular tournaments is hard enough, winning the majors is something different, something special.

“I’d love a Claret Jug. Probably that and the green jacket (given to Masters champions) are probably neck and neck, but the Claret Jug is probably the one that I feel like I have the game to win as opposed to the Masters.”

McDowell insists he would not view his career as a failure if he did not win another major, but added: “I guess what I’m saying is I’m more motivated than ever to win major championships.

“I think I’ve got the experience and belief and knowledge where if I can play my game, I have the tools to then hang around for 72 holes and perhaps get the job done. I feel like I’m more ready than I’ve ever been to win another major.”