McDowell looking for Welsh boost
Graeme McDowell is hoping a second straight Wales Open success at Celtic Manor this week will propel him towards a second successive victory in the US Open.
The world number five returns to the scene of his twin triumphs last year when he won the Wales Open and helped Europe regain the Ryder Cup.
McDowell is relishing being back at Celtic Manor and it was his achievement in the Ryder Cup that was on his mind the most when he arrived at the course, the Northern Irishman's winning putt on the 17th hole having made sure Europe lifted the trophy.
"My memories of last year here are probably a mixture of both but I would say it has got to be 90 percent Ryder Cup," the 31-year-old said on the eve of the Wales Open.
"I'll certainly garner inspiration from that this week."
McDowell's thoughts also returned to his magical weekend at Celtic Manor last June.
"I played some of the best golf I've ever played on the weekend here -- 64-63 to win," he said.
"I took a huge amount of confidence away from this tournament and went from strength to strength at Pebble Beach (in the U.S. Open) and won there. It was certainly the catalyst for 2010. It was my kick-start to a major."
McDowell cited a fundamental change in outlook ahead of his Wales Open triumph and has repeated the process this year, with an eye on the defence of his US Open title at Congressional from June 16-19.
"I remember questioning what I was doing with my game with my coach Pete Cowen at Wentworth (in the PGA Championship last year) and going back to basics with my golf swing," he explained.
"We've gone through the same process this year, technically got a bit confused, gone back to basics and built it back up again. Something clicked last year and I'm hoping for the same this year."
Colin Montgomerie also has happy memories of Celtic Manor and Europe's 2010 Ryder Cup captain is looking to continue the resurgence in form that earned him a share of seventh place last week at Wentworth.