McDowell in fine fettle as thoughts turn to Masters

Northern Irishman delighted with his performance in WGC-Cadillac championship

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hits out of a sand trap on the 10th hole during final round play in the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship PGA golf tournament in Doral, Florida March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity (UNITED STATES  - Tags: SPORT GOLF)

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hits out of a sand trap on the 10th hole during final round play in the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship PGA golf tournament in Doral, Florida March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT GOLF)

Tue, Mar 12, 2013, 23:11

He is due out again in next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, a traditional stop for the Ulsterman in his build-up to the Masters.

McDowell ticked off the boxes on different elements of his game, his iron play, his driving at Doral and allowed himself a pass on his putting – “the putter let me down, but that’s been a part of my game that’s been extremely strong the last couple of weeks, so no complaints,” he said – and looked forward to taking a week’s rest from competition before reappearing at Bay Hill.

Pádraig Harrington has adopted a starkly different approach in the run-up to Augusta which has seen the Dubliner take a convoluted route from Florida through Europe to the Far East.

Build momentum
Harrington – 54th in the latest world rankings – has decided to take in this week’s Thailand Open and next week’s Malaysian Open in continuing to build momentum for his return to the Masters.

Season-opener
Harrington is joined in Thailand this week in the quest to claim the King’s Trophy by newly appointed European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, for an event which is the season-opener on the OneAsia Tour and the Japan Pro Tour. England’s Chris Wood is the defending champion.

As it happens, this week’s Avantha Masters in India is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour and, after a lull in the season, sees a return to tournament play for Peter Lawrie, Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin.

Lawrie’s last outing on tour was a tied-17th place in the Dubai Desert Classic and is making a debut appearance in ¤1.8 million tournament in Delhi in a field which includes six players with Ryder Cup experience.

Edoardo Molinari, Ignacio Garrido, David Howell, Thomas Levet, Phillip Price and eight-times European Tour order of merit winner and former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie are also playing.

Guest of honour
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, was the guest of honour yesterday of the PGA of America as the world number one picked up his Vardon Trophy and Player of the Year award.