Golf: McGowan is champing at bit for China

ROSS McGOWAN is looking to reap the benefits of an extended break at this week's Volvo China Open as the Ryder Cup contender looks to kick-start a potentially lucrative year at Jinji Lakes International Golf Club, just outside of Shanghai.

Last year's Madrid Masters champion missed out on a maiden Masters appearance last week after failing to sufficiently improve his world ranking at the start of the year and took the opportunity to take an early- season break after finishing 30th in the WGC CA Championship at Doral at the start of March.

The world No.67 had also downed then world No.2 Steve Stricker at the WGC Accenture Match Play in Arizona and hopes to pick up where he left off in China before heading to South Korea next week for the Ballantine's Championship.

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"I haven't played a tournament since Doral, but I was practising last week in Dubai and the golf feels good and the course looks very good," he said.

"It was a little bit disappointing having to take a break after a few good results in America.

"This year has been a bit tricky. It was great playing the Match Play and Doral, but there are a few weeks in between them so it is hard to get into a rhythm so from here on until August I will be playing virtually every week with just the odd week off."

The Dubai World Championship runner-up, who turns 28 next week, is already certain of a place in the remaining three Majors this year, while a maiden Ryder Cup appearance at Celtic Manor in October is a real possibility with McGowan currently fourth on the European Points List.

"I would have loved to play better at the Match Play and Doral to get into the Masters after playing in Morocco and Andalucia. But one win wouldn't have been enough so I felt like I was chasing it a bit so I thought I would take a couple of weeks off and then go to Dubai and then concentrate on these events and the rest of the season," he added.

"I hope this now is the real start of my year. This is the point where I wanted to be ready to kick on and I think I am."