Graeme McDowell played in the Walker Cup at Ocean Forest in Sea Island, Ga., during a 2001 win for GB&I on U.S. soil.
It was a team that included Luke Donald and maybe one of the best captains, Peter McEvoy OBE.
“It was brilliant,” McDowell said of his Walker Cup experience. “Team competition in golf is unique. It’s such an individual sport that there’s nothing quite like being in that team environment, putting the shirt on, whatever that logo is on it, the GB&I in there.”
McDowell has since played in numerous Ryder Cups with Donald, but looks back at the Walker Cup as his first baptism by fire.
“It kind of whets your appetite for the big leagues,” McDowell said. “Obviously three Ryder Cups in my career definitely the highlights of my career so far. The Walker Cup certainly whetted my attitude for that.”
McDowell won three points at Sea Island, which was a precursor for his success in his professional career, both in team and individual competition.
“Just the energy, the adrenaline, the playing for each other, just that whole camaraderie that we don’t get a chance to experience much in golf, you know, it’s really – I think I’ve embraced it in my career,” McDowell said. “I love it and I enjoy it, and that experience in Sea Island was awesome.”