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Graeme McDowell wants firm and fast conditions at DP World Tour Championship

Last Updated: 13/11/13 3:56pm

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Graeme McDowell: Poor record at Jumeirah Golf Estates

Graeme McDowell: Poor record at Jumeirah Golf Estates

Sky Bet

Graeme McDowell is counting on firm and fast conditions to propel him to the Race to Dubai crown at this week's DP World Tour Championship.

The former US Open champion has struggled over the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in previous years, but conditions this season appear more suited to his game.

McDowell is one of three players along with current money list leader Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose who can be crowned European No 1 with victory in the season finale in Dubai.

"I do feel like I've stood in the (score) recording area out there and had a moan and a whine and maybe explained why I don't get around this course very well," McDowell said.

"But I come here with an open mind this week. I come here certainly as a player who I feel is getting better and learning and I'm experience enough to not write myself off around a golf course until I've had a few rounds under my belt.

"The golf course is firmer and faster this year which I think is going to suit me. The rough is penal. The course has matured, hopefully as well as I have, and I'm ready to see what I can do with an open mind this week."

McDowell was second in the Race to Dubai until missing last week's Turkish Airlines Open, where Justin Rose finished joint third to overtake him while Ian Poulter was fifth to close the gap on the Northern Irishman.


"I didn't have any second thoughts about whether I should be in Turkey or not, but I looked at the leaderboard and I was like 'Really? Those guys have to play well this week"' McDowell added.

"But regardless of whether I was in Turkey or not, I would still be here this week controlling my own destiny and nothing has changed. I let my nearest competitors get a little further in front of me or catch up, but it doesn't change my strategy this week. I have to play well, I have to compete.

"You don't get many opportunities in a career to win an Order of Merit, a true order of merit. It's certainly something I'd love to add to my resume. A win here this week will take care of all business and I'm feeling fresh and motivated and excited to see what I can do here this week."

Ernie Els hit out at the European Tour last week for forcing players to compete in at least two of the first three Final Series events to be eligible to play in Dubai.

Chief executive George O'Grady is expected to announce changes to the qualifying criteria on Sunday, and McDowell insisted the Tour need time to get the "close to perfect".

"The premise is there, the premise is right," he added. "Four extremely strong events to finish off the European Tour season and the Tour certainly needs to be granted the time and a little bit of leniency to get it right, because it's not easy to please everyone."

Watch the thrilling finale to the European Tour season on Sky, live coverage starts on Thursday at 8am on Sky Sports 4

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