Graeme McDowell. Photo by Golffile
Graeme McDowell tees it up in his first World Golf Championships event since 2016 at the WGC-Mexico Championship, and the Northern Irishman is excited about the challenge of taking on a new course at Chapultec Golf Club.
The 39-year-old claimed his 11th European Tour title at the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisors, his first victory on the tour in six years and one which moved him inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
That in turn earned him a place in the field for this week's WGC-Mexico Championship, and McDowell - who will host this year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in May - is not taking it lightly as he strives to reach his goal of a return to the European Ryder Cup team in September.
Another Irishman targeting a place in Padraig Harrington's side is Open Champion and a former World Golf Championships winner Shane Lowry, who returns to action after a two-week break. Markus Kinhult, meanwhile, is one of 11 European Tour members making their debut in Mexico, and one of two - alongside Benjamin Hebert - to be playing in a World Golf Championships event for the first time.
Graeme McDowell: “I've played a lot of WGCs in my career and I think you do take them for granted a little. They are amazing tournaments when you get the best players from all over the world to come together here in Mexico.
"It's the first time seeing the golf course for me and it's a great track, reminds me a little of Valderrama and obviously you've got the altitude so the ball goes a long way. But I'm excited to be back in these WGC events.
"It's important for me, if I have aspirations of being in the Ryder Cup team, that I've got to be in the WGCs and Major Championships so it's really important to take that first step, to get my schedule to where it needs to be and hopefully I can kick on from here.
"We're here to do a job this week. This is certainly not some icing on the cake from the win out in Saudi Arabia. This is about kicking on into the rest of the season and using these events as platforms to get where I want to be."
Shane Lowry. Photo by Golffile
Shane Lowry: "I've had a nice couple of weeks off, I had four weeks in a row at the start of the year so it's a long four weeks when it's the first run of the year. I felt like I played OK in Dubai and Saudi and I'm happy to be over here now, in Mexico this week and in the USA for the next couple of months, and hopefully I can put in a few good performances.
"Obviously I've won a WGC before so it's nice and it's a very tricky golf course here this week in Mexico, it's going to take a lot of good golf to do well here, so we'll see how it goes. I wouldn't be overly optimistic but I never usually am and I try to come in under the radar and do my thing for the week. Hopefully I can pop up on the leaderboard come Saturday afternoon and give it a run on Sunday."