Notebook: McDowell eager for long break to recharge his 'buzziness'

Graeme McDowell
Getty Images
Graeme McDowell wants to cut back on his schedule, aiming for about 26 tournaments a year on two tours.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Before winning his final event of the year at Tiger Woods’ World Challenge, Graeme McDowell talked all week about how badly he was in need of a 10-week break.

He feels he made a mistake by playing the first FedExCup playoff event, and that he was out of gas even in the high-charged atmosphere of the Ryder Cup. And that concerned him. He says he played so much this year that he lost an estimated 10 percent of what he calls his ''buzziness.''

''I love the sport. I love to play,'' he said. ''But too much a good thing ... you start going through the motions. I don't want to be like that. I want to get my excitement level up for the game.''

McDowell wants to cut back on his schedule, aiming for about 26 tournaments a year on two tours. But where to cut back is going to difficult, for there are too many good tournaments, especially at the end of the year.

''The end of the year has become a joke,'' he said. ''It's almost too much golf.''

Being among the top 50 in the world and having Europe as his home tour (meaning he doesn't need releases from the PGA Tour), McDowell said he gets to cherry-pick the tournaments he plays. But there are so many important events to him that he can't get to some places he would like to play.

That includes the Memorial at Muirfield Village.

''I'm dying to go there,'' McDowell said. ''But I looked at the schedule and, nope, I can't go.''

To play Muirfield Village would mean four straight weeks in three countries, and no doubt would cost him plenty of ''buzziness.''

BIGGEST TROPHY: The iGATE CEO Cup thinks so much of its new tournament -- executives of Global 2000 companies in North America on Jan. 12-13 on the Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass -- that it wanted a trophy to mark the occasion.

So it commissioned the largest gold sports trophy in the world, even bigger than the FIFA World Cup trophy.

Designed by India-based sculptor Amit Pabuwal, the iGATE CEO Cup trophy will be 21 inches tall, weigh 18 pounds of gold and be adorned with diamonds and rubies. The World Cup trophy is more than 14 inches tall and weighs 11 pounds.

''The iGATE CEO Cup is a premier event and we should have a trophy that a CEO will be proud to life,'' iGATE Chief Executive Phaneesh Murthy said.

Gary Player is the co-host of the $100,000 event, with the CEOs donating all the prize money to their chosen charities.

DIVOTS: Tom Lehman was voted Champions Tour player of the year, even though Roger Chapman won two majors this year -- the Senior PGA Championship and the U.S. Senior Open, the two most prestigious events in senior golf. ... The fledgling OneAsia Tour is holding one of its two Q-Schools in the United States. The tour cites ''unprecedented demand'' for staging two Q-Schools, one of them at Industry Hills east of Los Angeles on Jan. 29, the other a week later in Malaysia. OneAsia Chairman Sang Y. Chun said more Asia-Pacific players were based in California, and the additional Q-School would create more awareness of the tour in the U.S. ... Kia Motors America has signed a multiyear contract extension with the LPGA Tour to sponsor the Kia Classic, which will move next year from La Costa to Aviara Golf Club. It will be played March 21-24.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Robert Karlsson started the year at No. 24 in the world. He ended it by going to Q-School to earn back his PGA Tour card.

FINAL WORD: ''It's a game of mistakes, it's a game of misses. And if you dwell on all those misses and mistakes, you're not going anywhere.'' -- Steve Stricker.

 


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