McDowell sets sights on top ranking
New world number four Graeme McDowell has reaffirmed his goal of continuing his rapid rise up the rankings until he eventually takes over the top spot.
On Monday, the Northern Irishman moved into a share of fourth with American Phil Mickelson, just behind Germany's Martin Kaymer in third place with Tiger Woods (2nd) and Englishman Lee Westwood (1st) the other players ahead of him.
Twelve months ago, McDowell was ranked 40th and more concerned on holding his place inside the top-50 just to be assured of playing all four Majors.
A phenomenally successful 2010 has changed McDowell's priorities.
After four wins last season and a strong showing at the recent 2011 PGA Tour season opener in Hawaii, the 31-year old US Open champion has set his sights firmly on the top rung of the ladder.
"To be joint number four in the world is great and what a great way to start the New Year," McDowell said on Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
"It's amazing and it's beyond my wildest dreams, and besides it's something that I always wanted to achieve and that's to get myself as high up the rankings as possible.
"Now that I am there it is important to stay there and also to improve.
"But then the world rankings simply reflect on the golf I have played the last seven months.
"The big key for me now is to try and maintain that type of form over the next two years and beyond then I will feel as though I am one of the world's best."
Despite his lofty position, McDowell is not content with settling with what he has achieved and is looking to capitalise on his window of opportunity.
"I've said before that in the past achieving number one in the world didn't always seem possible as we were playing in the Tiger Woods era," McDowell added.
"But now it is achievable and I would be lying if I stood here and said I was not believing I could be the best player in the world as some point in my career.
"I know I can continue to improve my game and that's what I am focusing on the next five years."
This week McDowell joins US Masters winner Mickelson and the other two 2010 Major champions, Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen, in teeing up in at the Abu Dhabi Championship.