The beer and Guinness was on Graeme McDowell at Brophy's Irish pub in Carmel near Pebble Beach on Monday as he celebrated his great victory in the U.S. Open. An appearance on the Jay Leno 'Tonight' Show followed on Monday night.
He is set to earn up to $25 million from his U.S Open win
"I was happy to wake up and see that the trophy still in my room," McDowell told the Irish Examiner with a grin, as he sipped coffee in shorts and a tee shirt.
"I was almost worried. Had it really had happened. Did I really did win? It wasn’t all a dream, was it?"
He said he was struggling with accepting the magnitude of his great win.
" I don’t know if I am ready for that. It’s funny. My caddie said to me yesterday that we can deal with failure. We know that because we have been there, because we have dealt with failure in the past.
"But he said, can you deal with the other? Can you deal with this win? Know what, as I stand here I am not quite sure.
"I am sure I can deal with everything that goes with being a major champion. I will certainly do the best job that I can to be a role model and be whatever it is that major champions have to be."
On hand to help him celebrate was Padraig Harrington, the Irish ace who has won three majors.
"It brings a huge amount of pressure," Harrington confessed, "but it is what you want as a player. It is the goal you have been looking for and I don’t think it relaxes anybody.
"Having won one might make it easier to win one when you are in contention, but it doesn’t make it easier in terms of preparation."
"He has played well for three, four months at a time. It is not a gradual curve, he goes up and stays up but it has been improving over the years and I would see him playing very well off the back of this," Harrington said
McDowell is also set to cash in on his new fame.
He has earned more than $12m in eight years as a pro. But there’s much more to come.
He can expect to amass up to $25 million from the win over the next few years in endorsement deals and lucrative tie-ins.
He is now ranked 13th in the world, two places ahead of Padraig Harrington
"It is certainly a pinch yourself moment," he said. "It’s surreal. It has not sunk in and I don’t know when that is going to happen. Graeme McDowell, major champion. My manager Conor said it to me there earlier and it’s a special moment in my life and my career."
"I am holding this trophy like someone is going to take it off me and say this is a big joke. It didn’t really happen."
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