Graeme McDowell supports a PGA Championship played outside the United States
Bob Denney/The PGA of America
Graeme McDowell drove a dagger through the hearts of all U.S. golf fans by clinching the 2010 Ryder Cup for Europe. But on Friday, he was welcomed to PGA of America headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for a "fireside chat" in which he covered a variety of topics both on and off the golf course.
One thing that immediately jumped out at me was his enthusiasm for the idea of the PGA Championship being played overseas at some point.
"Going global is a necessity in the modern game," he told the audience of PGA employees. "You [the PGA] have the opportunity to give the rest of the world something special. [There are] three majors already in the U.S. This is an opportunity to do something unique for the game. I support it."
The idea of taking the PGA Championship abroad first surfaced last fall, when PGA of America Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua told Golf World magazine that the Association's leadership was exploring the possibility internally. The PGA hasn't issued any kind of public comment since then.
McDowell also said he'd be interested in serving as a Ryder Cup captain at some point.
"I like to think that I have a few more rounds under the belt to play [in the Ryder Cup]," he said, "but I certainly would not overlook having a crack at serving someday as captain."
The appeal of the Ryder Cup to McDowell, a member of three European squads and a favorite to make it four this fall, is simple.
"The intensity, the focus and the will to win is unlike any other," he explained. "It brings out the best in a player. You see someone miss a green, you expect them to chip it in.
"I have been in three Ryder Cups and if I could put them in a box, they would easily qualify for the three greatest times in my life."
G-Mac also broke some gastronomic news during his visit. He told his audience that Nona Blue, the restaurant he recently opened near his Lake Nona home in Orlando, will open a second location in Jupiter, Fla. – just down the road from PGA HQ.