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Help with the head

Graeme McDowell three-putted three greens on his way to a 77 Friday, and afterward admitted his mental state was not right. Part of the problem, he said, might be trying to live up to last year.

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"You can't wait for the golf ball to make you feel happy because it ain't going to make you feel happy every day," says Graeme McDowell. (Getty Images)


SANDWICH, England (PA Sport) -- Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell described himself as "a mental case" on the course Friday after criticizing his attitude over two poor rounds at the Open Championship that sent him home early.

The 2010 U.S. Open winner began the day 2 under but three-putted three greens on his way to a 77, which left him 5 over for the tournament and a long way from making the cut.

McDowell admitted his mental state was not right, and he had to work out how to correct it.

"I was ready for this tournament but by the time I walked off the first green yesterday I wasn't ready any more, it's very frustrating," he said. "I've always enjoyed the mental side of the game, but I wouldn't say I'm enjoying it so much right now because I'm a bit of a mental case out there.

"I need an attitude readjustment. I need to care a bit less about the game,” he explained. "My attitude has been pretty average the last two days, just not having a lot of belief or confidence in myself.

"I've been doing a little work with Bob Rotella (the leading golf sports psychologist) so maybe I need to do a little more, get on the couch and tell him all my problems,” he added. "You can't wait for the golf ball to make you feel happy because it ain't going to make you feel happy every day."

McDowell accepts that nothing has been able to measure up to his U.S. Open win and that he might be trying too hard in an attempt to replicate that.

"It's hard not to compare to last year. I didn't set out in 2011 trying to eclipse 2010 but deep inside I know I can do it, so maybe I want it too badly," he added. "This is the Open. We are under pressure. We want to do well -- maybe I've been trying a little too hard the last couple days."