Graeme McDowell admits it is ‘bittersweet’ to be competing in the Dominican Republic

‘Of course you would rather be at the World Match Play, but I’ve really enjoyed coming down here’

Former champion Graeme McDowell has vowed to take the right attitude into his bid for a second victory in the Corales Puntacana Championship.

McDowell admits he would prefer to be among the world’s top 64 eligible players competing in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play instead of contesting the event in the Dominican Republic.

But the former US Open champion will be fully focused on battling for the first prize of $666,000 (€605,000) at Punta Cana as the game’s top names try to win €2.1 million dollars (€1.9 million) at Austin Country Club.

“I really have enjoyed coming back here over the years,” 2019 winner McDowell said.

“It’s a little bittersweet. Of course you would rather be at the World Match Play, but I’ve really enjoyed coming down here.

“Obviously the win in 2019 was a really important victory for me at the time because I kind of had conditional status [on the PGA Tour] and it meant a lot to me.

“I gave it a pretty good run here last year as well. I finished bogey-bogey to lose by a couple [of shots] in some very tough conditions. Seventeen and 18 play quite hard here and it’s very easy to do.

“There’s obviously a lot of good players in this field that maybe feel they’re good enough to be in the Match Play, but they’re here playing an opposite event and there’s a certain amount involved of how do you deal with that.

“I’ve always tried to come down here with the right attitude. This is a fantastic opportunity, there’s great FedEx Cup points up for grabs here. It’s about having the attitude in the right place.

“I came down here in ’19 with that right approach and it served me well, and I’ve always tried to approach this tournament the right way rather than begrudging the fact that I’m not at a WGC event.”