McIlroy might struggle to regain his focus at British Open, says McDowell

graeme mcdowell
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Graeme McDowell is playing the Scottish Open for the second straight year after winning the 2010 U.S. Open, but says he isn't sure whether it's better to rest up or get right back to action.
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 | 2:02 p.m.

Graeme McDowell has pointed out another potential problem for Rory McIlroy when he returns to action at the British Open next week.

Earlier this week, Colin Montgomerie said he thought the 22-year-old will tee off at Roal St. George’s "mentally tired" because everybody will be wanting to congratulate him on his U.S. Open performance.

McIlroy decided not to play an event between the two majors, unlike fellow Northern Irishman McDowell, who did appear in the Barclays Scottish Open following his Pebble Beach victory last year.

"It's going to be very hard for Rory when he turns up to be concentrating on the Open Championship,” said McDowell, who is back at the Scottish Open this year. "He'll still be living three or four weeks ago at Congressional."

From his own experience, though, McDowell isn’t sure that playing at Castle Stuart this week would have helped.

"I certainly wasn't ready and if I had to do it all over again perhaps I wouldn't play," he admitted. "I think I remember talking about champagne swings this time last year. A lot has been made of Rory taking three weeks off, but there's probably two sides to the argument.

"Being at home, he's had two weeks to get the celebrating out of the system and I know he's had a pretty good time,” he added. "I'm sure this week will be sort of getting the business head screwed back on again. I know he's going to spend a couple of days at St. George's and I think he'll be reasonably ready to go.

"It's just a matter of how he deals with the mental stuff -- the attention from everyone. That was the bit that was difficult for me,” he said. "I found that very hard. It's great, of course, but it's overwhelming."