Graeme McDowell confident of Irish Open challenge at K Club

Graeme McDowell is confident he can compete for the Irish Open title at the K Club in County Kildare this week after an encouraging performance at the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

"The event has gone from strength to strength in recent years and it's only going to get better," said McDowell of his home tournament.

The Northern Irishman is also hoping to make the Ryder Cup team once again, but knows that he has work to do in the coming weeks.

"There is a lot of golf to play in the next few months including three majors, the PGA Championship next week, and the French Open, which offers double points. I want to finish strongly and try to get on the team.

"It was nice to have a bit of dinner with Darren (Clarke, European captain) last week) and some of the more experienced players, and talk about what might happen at Hazeltine," he added.

The Portrush golfer also discusses the possibility of the Irish Open being staged at Portstewart and Ballyliffin over the next few years.