Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell returned to a hero's welcome in Portrush on Wednesday, where he revealed that removing the U.S. Open trophy he earned on Sunday at Pebble Beach required bolt cutters to cut through the combination lock.
"We got a huge big metal box with the trophy, obviously pretty secure, and a combination lock to go with it," he said, according to this story in the Irish Times. "I take no responsibility for it because I didn't lock the thing. When we got to Callaway headquarters [in Carlsbad, Calif.] people were pretty excited and wanted to get the trophy out, but we didn't have the combination.
"We got a set of bolt cutters and cut it off. So, I'm off to a flyer in my relationship with the U.S. Open trophy. It's been an interesting one so far."
McDowell, the first Brit to win the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin's victory at Hazeltine in 1970, went straight to Rathmore Golf Club, where he learned the game as a teenager. He has been running on adrenaline, he said, though he intends to refuel with something different.
"I am here for the weekend and intend to see some drinking action," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
-- John Strege