Every professional golfer has, at one point or another, hit the proverbial brick wall with their game. It doesn't matter how many tournaments you've won, there comes a day when you'll step up to a ball on the range and notice something is amiss.
It's not a big deal when you miss one cut, but when they start of come in bunches and realize there's something wrong with your swing, that's where you find out how dedicated a player is to finding their game again.
Graeme McDowell found this out first-hand earlier this year, when he came into the 2011 season as the hottest golfer in the game. With a major championship and the winning putt at the Ryder Cup on his resume, it didn't seem like it could get any better for G-Mac ... that is until he came from four back to beat Tiger at the Target World Challenge.
He followed up his torrid 2010 with three consecutive top-10 finishes, thereby cementing his place as one of golf's best. Then came the brick wall, and McDowell certainly hit it head-on with three missed cuts in his last four starts, his best finish a T-61 The Heritage.
That's when McDowell hit the absolute bottom at the Zurich, claiming his game was in absolute disarray. And like every good player before him that hit the wall, McDowell spent the last couple of weeks trying to find his game.
"I'd been starting the ball left of target, and I can't play golf. When the ball starts left of target, I'm dead," McDowell said. "We worked hard early this week, trying to get some good feels back in my golf swing, and couple things clicked."
Something must have clicked, because McDowell is 8-under a couple back at the midway point at the Players, and is certainly swinging the club better than we've seen all year. Golf is a maddening game that can drive even the best player crazy.
While getting to the top is tough, trying to replicate past form can be just as difficult. McDowell still has a long way to go to get back to his 2010 form, but after a couple of solid rounds, it looks like his hard work is finally paying dividends.
- Graeme McDowell