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McDowell motivated for golf World Cup

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 John Salvado

Watching 47-year-old Australian Rod Pampling wind back the clock to win in Las Vegas has only increased Graeme McDowell's belief that his best golf is still to come.

The 2010 US Open champion has endured a mostly lean couple of years in 2015 and 2016, having seen his world ranking slip from a career-high of four in 2011 to 81.

But the Ulsterman is looking forward to ending his year on a high.

This week on the PGA Tour, McDowell is the defending title-holder at the OHL Classic in Mexico.

The 37-year-old will then shift his focus to the November 24-27 World Cup at Kingston Heath where he will team up with Shane Lowry to represent Ireland.

With six of the world's top 10 players - headed by Australian Jason Day - aged in their 20s, McDowell acknowledged that the sport had undergone a major power shift.

"In their early to mid-20s these guys are great athletes and are really prepared to win the best tournaments in the world so perhaps the mid 30s isn't the prime of your career any more," McDowell told reporters in a teleconference on Tuesday.

"Then you look at guys like Rod Pampling (whose victory at the Shriners event in Las Vegas last weekend was his first on the US Tour in more than a decade) and you see guys playing well into their 40s and even into their 50s.

"Golf is one of those sports where if you stay healthy and, even more importantly, if you stay mentally hungry and fresh and motivated, you can play well for as long as you want."

Missing out on Ryder Cup action for the first time in a decade is providing further motivation for McDowell - who thrives whenever he gets the chance to represent Europe or Ireland as part of a team.

"I didn't play the type of golf in the past year to be on the Ryder Cup team and I certainly have no sour grapes from not being picked," he said of being forced to watch on from afar as the United States snapped a run of three straight losses to triumph 17-11 at Hazeltine.

"I watched a lot of that weekend on a couple of levels.

"I love the Ryder Cup , I love it as a spectacle, I think it's the greatest golf event in the world.

"I watched it as a lover of the game and obviously supporting Europe but I also watched it for motivation.

"I wanted it to hurt and I wanted to remember it the next time I went to the practice ground."

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