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Like Chicago and Sinatra, Hoylake's McDowell's kind of town

By Tony Jimenez

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Chicago was always Frank Sinatra's kind of town when the great crooner was in his pomp and the same thing could be said of self-confessed "short knocker" Graeme McDowell and this week's British Open venue.

The biggest tournaments these days often play into the hands of the long hitters but the Royal Liverpool Golf Club is an exception, as evidenced in 2006 when Tiger Woods shunned his driver on the way to a two-stroke victory.

"I'm one of the short knockers here," McDowell told reporters at Hoylake on Tuesday. "But is distance going to be an advantage around this golf course? I don't think so, no.

"Certainly my game plan is...to place the ball in those kind of areas where the course forces you.

"I don't walk on to this course and kind of sigh and say, 'Here we go again, this is 330-yard distance, paradise'," said McDowell who won this month's French Open in Versailles.

"Look at the way Tiger won here in 2006. He can dominate with length but he didn't have to. It asks you to play a game of chess more than anything - this is my kind of golf course."

McDowell's 2010 U.S. Open victory catapulted him up the world rankings and his recent Ryder Cup performances have rubber-stamped his status as one of the most reliable players in the modern era.

The British Open, though, is the one major championship he is itching to win.

"I feel like I'm ready to kick on to the next chapter in my career and compete and win more major championships," said the world number 17.

"I certainly don't want to be a one-hit wonder. The green jacket is probably neck and neck with the Claret Jug but this is the one where I feel like I have the game to win as opposed to the U.S. Masters.

"The Open championship is a special one. Augusta has that same kind of mystique and tradition as well because of the venue and what it creates," added the 34-year-old Northern Irishman.

"But the Open seems to maintain that mystique as it goes around to various courses. I'd give my left arm for the Claret Jug - that would be the end of my career but it would be a nice way to go."

(Editing by Tony Goodson)

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