McDowell takes double aim at elite Grand Slam event

MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell plans to have a bit of fun while adopting a hard-nosed mentality at next week's end-of-season PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda.

While the Northern Irishman has set his sights on victory in the prestigious, four-man event, he also wants to enjoy the two days of competition at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton as much as he can.

"It's going to be a great experience over there next week," McDowell said on a conference call about the October 19-20 event.

"There's going to be an element of fun to it but I'm also looking to try and make a statement as a top major champion.

"Winning a major is something we dream about as professional golfers and it's a very elite field to be part of next week."

The 36-hole Grand Slam of Golf, billed as "the most exclusive tournament in golf," brings together the winners of the year's four majors.

Germany's Martin Kaymer, who won the U.S. PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in August, and former major winners Ernie Els of South Africa and American David Toms will join McDowell.

Els and Toms were late replacements for Masters champion Phil Mickelson and British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen. American Mickelson withdrew due to arthritis and South African Oosthuizen pulled out because of an ankle injury.

"Obviously missing Phil and Louis is unfortunate. It would have been special to have all four major winners there this year but we have pretty worthy replacements in Ernie Els and David Toms -- both great, great players."

The elite stroke-play event was held in Hawaii from 1991 to 2006 before moving to Bermuda in 2007.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)