McDowell hopes to put heat on Kaymer at Singapore Open

Graeme McDowell expects a sizzling climax to this season`s Race to Dubai and has targeted the $6 Singapore Open as his opportunity to put the heat on front-runner Martin Kaymer.

Updated: Nov 10, 2010, 17:34 PM IST

Graeme McDowell expects a sizzling climax to this season`s Race to Dubai and has targeted the $6 Singapore Open as his opportunity to put the heat on front-runner Martin Kaymer.

McDowell trails his Ryder Cup team mate by more than $700,000 with three tournaments remaining on the calendar, but with a $1 million jackpot for first place in Singapore, the Northern Irishman is within striking distance of top spot.

The 31-year-old made a massive dent in Kaymer`s lead by winning the Andalucia Masters in Valderrama at the end of October.
Both players finished out of the running at last week`s HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, though world number one Lee Westwood made up ground by finishing second.

"This week is the week which I`ve targeted as an important one in trying to catch Martin," McDowell told a media conference on Wednesday. "We were pretty close last week but a huge week this week can punch a hole in (Kaymer`s lead)."

McDowell, who will play on the U.S. PGA Tour next season, has enjoyed a phenomenal year, winning the U.S. Open and earning the crucial point for Europe in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

While he is not 100 percent happy with his form coming into the tournament, he knows mental focus and physical preparation will be key to victory in the heat and humidity of Singapore.
"I`m trying to think of the last time I`ve played in a heat like this and it could well be in Singapore at this tournament last year," said McDowell, who finished tied for fifth, three shots behind winner Ian Poulter.

"The key is obviously to keep the fluid onboard and when we drink so much fluid, we don`t really feel like eating. Your diet, your nutrition and your liquid are hugely important," he added.

"It`s about switching off and maintaining your energy. Maybe get one of those sun umbrellas and stand in the shade as much as possible.

"It`s being able to stay relaxed and focused for five hours because it`s a long time out there in the heat. There`s not going to be a lot of bashing balls on the range this week and it`s really about being in the best shape that you can."

McDowell has seen substantial improvement in his game this season and says he now approaches tournaments with the mentality that he can challenge for the title.

"Winning in Valderrama was a little bit of a breakthrough week for me as I felt that I won ugly," he said.

"I didn`t play my best golf and I think that was probably the first time it ever happened in my career, where I won a golf tournament not feeling that I had my `A game`.

"I think I`ve certainly improved as a player, improved mentally, technically and I`ve got a little more belief in myself to feel that I can go to any golf tournament in the world and compete."

Bureau Report