McDowell eyes money title

2010-11-24 15:35

Dubai - Graeme McDowell's golfing year may already be the stuff of dreams but the Briton is determined to sprinkle some extra icing on his glory cake by finishing the season as Europe's number one.

The 31-year-old has won the U.S. Open, Wales Open and Andalucia Masters and also grabbed the winning point when Europe beat the United States in last month's Ryder Cup.

McDowell, though, has one more target in mind -- pipping Ryder Cup team mate Martin Kaymer to the Race to Dubai crown.

"I guess after the Ryder Cup I could have probably put my feet up and taken 80 (in every round) for the rest of the year and still looked back and said 'dream season'," he told reporters on the eve of the $7.5 million Dubai World Championship.

"I didn't want to do that because I wanted to try and finish strong. You don't get many chances to win an order of merit, or Race to Dubai as it is nowadays."

Money-list titles are second only to major championships and going into the final event of the European season, second-placed McDowell is desperate to turn the tables on German Kaymer who has a lead of 290,000 euros in the Race to Dubai.

"Money lists are very important - they define careers," said the Northern Irishman.

"Monty (Colin Montgomerie) with his eight, that's unbelievably impressive. Martin has had an amazing season but being within touching distance this week is fun."

McDowell is still pinching himself over the feats he has already achieved in 2010.

"If you had shown me the script in January for this year I wouldn't have believed it," he said. "It is certainly beyond my wildest expectations.

"I've been quietly going about my business for the last five or six years, gaining some great experience around the world and learning from mistakes I've made.

"I certainly wouldn't have expected this season to go the way it has. To have two huge highlights like (the U.S. Open at) Pebble Beach and the Ryder Cup, it's been amazing."

The single-minded McDowell has been a man on a mission. The Dubai World Championship will be his fifth consecutive appearance on the tour and in that time he has slowly chipped away at Kaymer's lead at the top of the money list.

"I started off this five-week run with Martin nearly a million euros ahead of me and I wasn't quite sure I would be able to catch him," said the Northern Irishman.

"I wanted to get here with an opportunity to win the Race to Dubai and I've given myself that chance now. I am excited about it and trying to put a bit of polish on a good season."

McDowell dismissed the suggestion his five-week run would leave him feeling drained for his head-to-head with Kaymer, his playing partner in Thursday's first round.

"It's been a busy five weeks with a lot of travelling so I've been trying to conserve energy and not spend too much time on the practice range to make sure I come here this week with the energy levels pretty good," he said.

"I've been feeling great and feeling like there is plenty left in the tank. I'm looking forward to it and in the final group with Martin tomorrow, the adrenaline should be pumping from the word go.

"I'm probably feeling as good about my game right now as I have at any point during the season."