Golfer Graeme McDowell undoubtedly had his hopes set high for 2011 following a stellar display in 2010. This year, however, was marked by disappointment and an overshadowing by Northern Ireland’s other wunderkind, Rory McIlroy.

The Irish Examiner reports that the two pros attended a lunch in Dublin yesterday hosted by Horizon Sports, who run both of the golf-stars affairs, to mark the end of the golfing season.

During the luncheon, McDowell, who goes by G-Mac, stood back to let McIlroy soak in the glory he so rightly deserved following his impressive year.

In praise of McIlroy’s reaction to his “meltdown” at Congressional, G-Mac said: “It just shows how good his attitude is. He is a quietly intelligent golfer. He’s got that young, kind of bounce-back in him and has a great attitude to the sport. And that’s what you need. What turns good players into great players is attitude.”


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And while McDowell was optimistic about McIlroy’s upcoming season, he didn’t shy away from speaking of his own hopes of a return to glory.

"All of a sudden, I’ve slipped from sixth to 13th in the world and I’d have gone ‘wow, what a bad year that was!’ You realign your expectations a little bit and expectations are very dangerous things. I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I handle myself.

Of 2011, G-Mac said it was a great “learning curve” for him, and that he’s come out stronger.

"I’m very happy with my game, my technique, my equipment, my fitness levels, my health, my mental health. These are all key components. I feel like my ducks are lined up again when a few of them were all over the place for much of the early part of the year."

G-Mac added that he’ll take time to relax and “put his feet up” in Portrush over the holidays, but come the New Year, it’s back to the gym and game face on.