Times are good for PGA Tour star Graeme McDowell.
It's been less than 24 hours since the Northern Irishman won the 2013 RBC Heritage -- the first PGA Tour stop since The Masters -- but it seems like old news already. Just another feather in the cap of a professional golfer who flies under the radar most of the season, popping up every now and then to remind golf fans that "Oh yeah, Graeme McDowell is incredibly good at golf."
At times, however, his talents on the fairway almost seem like an afterthought. Even when I interviewed the man prior to last year's Ryder Cup in Chicago, an event that managed to excite the likes of Jason Dufner, McDowell seemed preoccupied with 100 other things. For example, just prior to our sit-down chat last September, McDowell and a small group ran out to hole No. 17 at the Glen Club for an impromptu closest-to-the-pin contest... at 9:00pm.
Graeme stuck that shot to three feet. No big deal. Typical Monday.
When he's not winning tartan blazers and out-dueling intoxicated golf writers, McDowell is succeeding admirably as a businessman. He is the owner and proprietor of his own clothing line -- Kartel Golf -- and has recently opened his first restaurant, Nona Blue in Orlando. McDowell is also successful in his personal life, having recently gotten engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Kristin Stipe. The wedding will be in the Bahamas.
So, yeah, life is pretty damn awesome for the No. 8 golfer in the world.
Still, McDowell is quiet despite his long resume of successful endeavors. Part of that stems from a traditional Protestant/Catholic Irish upbringing from his parents in Portrush, Northern Ireland. His humility also derives from near-misses at the 2012 U.S. Open and British Open; two majors that saw McDowell play in the final pairing on Sunday. Including his 2010 U.S. Open victory, McDowell very well should have three majors under his belt already.
"This game kicks you more often than it gives you a pat on the back," McDowell said on Sunday. "It's hard to win."
You seem to be handling things quite well, Graeme.