With a win and a tie for second to go along with two other top 20s in his last four U.S. Opens, Graeme McDowell’s name will certainly show up on just about any shortlist for this week’s event.
While Merion is three time zones east of his two best U.S. Open showings, McDowell’s game accuracy and clutch putting play well at any Open venue.
McDowell emerged on the world stage in 2010 with his victory at Pebble Beach. After that win, he elected to become a member of the PGA TOUR. Had he been a member prior to that triumph, he would have secured a Playoff spot with plenty of room to spare. Instead, he didn’t make his first Playoffs until 2011.
McDowell opened that 2011 campaign — his first full season on TOUR — with a trio of top-10 finishes. He would fail to finish inside the top 10 again that year as he finished the season at No. 73 in the FedExCup standings.
He followed it up with a 42nd place FedExCup finish in a season that included two runner-up showings and four consecutive top 25s leading into the Playoffs. McDowell tied for second in the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in California to jump start his stretch run.
This season, McDowell again started with back-to-back-to-back top-10 finishes and added his second TOUR victory (RBC Heritage) to come into this week’s event at No. 17 in the latest standings. McDowell has never ranked this high in the FedExCup standings at this point in the season and he’ll have a great opportunity to improve upon his current number this week at Merion.
If he can maintain his current position throughout the Playoffs, McDowell will earn his first trip to East Lake and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. There, he would have an opportunity to become the first European winner of the FedExCup.