McDowell says US Open triumph can inspire Europeans

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Graeme McDowell believes his US Open win can act as a boost for his fellow European golfers ahead of this year's Ryder Cup match against the United States.

Updated: June 24, 2010 17:53 IST
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London :

Graeme McDowell believes his US Open win can act as a boost for his fellow European golfers ahead of this year's Ryder Cup match against the United States.

The Northern Irishman's one-shot win from France's Gregory Havret at the tough Pebble Beach course in California on Sunday saw him beat a field including American stars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as he became the first European winner of the US Open in 40 years.

McDowell's victory all but assured him a place in Europe's side for the Ryder Cup, a biennial team event against the United States, when the Americans defend the trophy at the Celtic Manor course in Newport, south Wales from October 1-3.

The Republic of Ireland's Padraig Harrington, three-times a major winner, and Northern Ireland rising star Rory McIlroy, yet to win one of golf's four biggest tournaments -- the British Open, US Masters, US Open and US PGA --- are also set to be on Europe's team.

"I spoke to Rory and we were talking about a few things and how he was really going to be playing hard now -- he didn't want to be the only Irishman on the Ryder Cup team without a Major Championship," McDowell said while thanking staff on a visit to club manufacturers Callaway in Chessington, south of London, on Wednesday.

"I'm sure a few other guys will feel the same and I'm sure that a lot of them will take a lot of belief from me winning."

McDowell said he felt contrasting emotions as he walked down the 18th hole for the last time, saying he was "calm on the outside, chaos underneath."

"I was pretty nervous on the 18th tee," added the 30-year-old, the first European winner of the US Open since English golf great Tony Jacklin back in 1970.

"I saw Gregory splash out the bunker and not make his putt so that made my decision easier. It was very nice to chip down a 9-iron, put a wedge on and get out of there with two putts to win."

McDowell said he was proud of the way he'd stood up to the pressure at Pebble Beach.

"You have very few opportunities to win Majors. There are only four a year, they are tough, and it's hard to get yourself in position to win.

"This was really my first time contending in a Major and it was great.

"I've always been good at getting it done when I'm in contention and I can take a lot away from this week in terms of how I competed and managed to complete the job."

Asked how he celebrated, McDowell replied: "It was a long night, with a few glasses of champagne and plenty of adrenaline.

"I woke up feeling amazing and saw the trophy there in the corner of room and it was just amazing. It hasn't left my sight since."

McDowell said among the numerous messages of congratulations he received was one from Jacklin, who was looking forward to meeting his fellow US Open winner at St Andrews in Scotland during next month's British Open.

"Tony e-mailed saying 'welcome to the club and see you in St Andrews'."

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