Eight Questions with…US Open Winner Graeme McDowell

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell hugs the US Open Trophy after winning the 110th U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, California.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell hugs the US Open Trophy after winning the 110th U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, California.

Ireland’s Graeme McDowell broke a 40-year European drought by winning the US Openon Sunday.

I sat down with him to talk about the business side of golf.

Darren: With your US Open win, your career earnings are now $11,978,971. How much of that have you really earned after taxes and paying your caddie and agent as well as the travel?

McDowell: Definitely less than half of that. I have a big team of people I have to pay off.

Darren: I have to say that on Sunday I went to your Web siteand I was very impressed. I also noticed that when you won, it had crashed. Any idea as to how many hits you got?

McDowell: I know we did double the amount on that day that we do the entire year.

Darren: Wow. That’s amazing. One sponsorship evaluation company said that you provided Callaway with $21 million worth of media exposure on Sunday alone.

McDowell: I hope that’s what the invoice says.

Darren: You mentioned in your victory speech that you were going to have a Guinness, yet you have a sponsorship deal with Ballantine’s whiskey. Did the people at Ballantine’s feel slighted?

McDowell: No. They understand I’m Irish and I drink Guinness. But they also know I start with Guinness, but I reserve my Ballantine’s for later in the evening.

Darren: Fair enough. We’ll take that. You have a lot of sponsorship deals — six logos on your body already. Do you have any space to sell?

McDowell: Oh, I’ll make some real estate available for the right price.

Darren: Speaking of sponsors, what sponsor has already given you something you didn’t have on Sunday?

McDowell: Well, the folks at Marquis Jet are definitely taking care of me. They had a jet on standby to fly me to Los Angeles. I was supposed to go to Orlando, but things obviously changed.

Darren: Lot of fans in Ireland upset about the hand ball that got the French into the World Cup and knocked Ireland out. Now the French are out. Any thoughts on that?

McDowell: Karma has an interesting way of playing out. Lot of drama there for sure. I obviously haven’t watched as much World Cup as would have liked. I have some friends on England, so looking forward to watching their next game.

Darren: You’re also sponsored by the Al Naboodah Group, an investment company that has real estate in Dubai. You going to get a place over there now?

McDowell: We’re working on that.

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