News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Graeme McDowell inspired by European team mates

Graeme McDowell inspired by European team mates

Graeme McDowell is hoping the exploits of his Ryder Cup team mates will inspire him back onto the winners` podium after a drought of nearly a year without success.

McDowell, US Open winner in 2010, has not won since last July when he landed his second French Open title in succession, but had his appetite for victory whetted on Tuesday night at the European Tour`s Players` Awards Dinner near Heathrow Airport.

Three out of the four major trophies were on display thanks to the exploits of Rory McIlroy`s wins in the British Open and the USPGA Championship and Martin Kaymer`s US Open victory.

The Ryder Cup was there as was former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who gave the European team an inspiring talk ahead of their victory at Gleneagles last year.

McDowell is playing in the European PGA Championship which starts at Wentworth on Thursday and says the evening has re-kindled his desire to return to winning ways.

"It was a great night at the Tour dinner and watching major championship wins and a little Ryder Cup reminiscing and just celebrating some amazing golf on The European Tour," McDowell told reporters at Wentworth. 

"The thing that I love is kind of seeing all the highlight reels from guys winning major championships. I thought Martin Kaymer`s piece was really cool, and obviously what Rory has been accomplishing - it is just motivating and inspiring. 

"That was what I took out of the night. It was just inspiration to get back on that kind of stage again myself.

"It`s been a slow start of the year for me, but this would be a phenomenal week to kick start what`s going to be a very busy summer.

"This is not a golf course I`ve performed as well as I`d like to over the years, but there`s always a certain amount of energy and anticipation and motivation coming here.

"Coming back and playing in front of the British fans, it`s always such a well?supported week. Always an iconic golf course, grew up watching this so much. It`s changed a lot over the years I guess but still remains Wentworth, and the flagship event."

McDowell`s wife Kristin gave birth to their first daughter, Vale, in August last year and the Northern Irishman admits his game has not been at its best.

He added: "There have been some technical issues and there`s been some mental issues, mental issues based on great things, great things happening off the golf course and just a rebalancing of my life.

"I`m not sure which came first, the mental stuff or the technical stuff.

"But I`ve worked it all out the last few months, and I`ve never really felt as motivated to get myself back competing on Sunday afternoons, and I`m enjoying the process of getting back there.

"When I do get back there, I think I`ll appreciate it more than I ever did. The last few years, leader boards have come a little easier and I maybe haven`t appreciated them as much."