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McDowell hopes to kick on following RBC Heritage victory

Updated: Thursday, 09 May 2013 09:02 | Comments

Graeme McDowell is hoping that his RBC Heritage victory will spur him on to further wins
Graeme McDowell is hoping that his RBC Heritage victory will spur him on to further wins

Graeme McDowell hopes his first PGA Tour win for three years can kickstart his career instead of signalling it is time to take his foot off the gas.

Former US Open champion McDowell won the RBC Heritage in South Carolina last month, beating Webb Simpson on the first hole of a play-off at Hilton Head.

It was the Northern Irishman's first official victory in the United States since his 2010 triumph at Pebble Beach and the 33-year-old wants it to be the first of many.

"It wasn't like the excitement and elation of some previous wins, this one just felt right and felt like I was ready. It didn't require a huge party afterwards," McDowell said ahead of today's first round of the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

"Sometimes wins are springboards for something greater beyond and sometimes they feel like the finish line. When I won the US Open in 2010 there was definitely a chequered flag-feel about that.

"I've had wins which have felt like springboards to something better; when I won in Korea in 2008 chasing my first Ryder Cup team, it felt like the springboard to a big season and this one certainly feels the same way.

"I have to follow it up and hopefully have a great summer. I am very happy with what I am doing, I feel comfortable with my game and excited to play some more golf. Picking up a trophy takes the edge off pressure-wise and I can just play my game now."

Playing well enough to win on Sunday would earn McDowell just over $1million from the $6million prize fund on offer at Sawgrass, but 40 of the world's top 45 players are in the field for the game's "unofficial fifth major".

Among them is Masters champion Adam Scott, who won the last real major at Augusta and admits his head is still in the clouds after being overwhelmed by the response to his play-off victory over Angel Cabrera.

One thing which could bring the Australian back down to earth is the proposed ban on anchored putting strokes which is due to take effect from 2016; Scott's Masters win completed the grand slam of major wins for players using long or belly putters.

However, the 32-year-old believes only a minor adjustment would be necessary even if the ban comes into force.

"I think I'll be relieved when it's all over and we can all get beyond it," he said. "I may or may not like the outcome of that, but I think we've all spent enough energy on it now.

"I don't really have a backup plan. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and deal with it then. I don't think there will be anything much for me to change. If I have to separate the putter a millimetre from my chest, then I'll do that."

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