Ryder Cup hero McDowell to play on U.S. Tour in 2011

By Bernie McGuire

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - Europe's Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell confirmed on Wednesday that he will be joining the U.S. Tour next year.

The U.S. Open champion, who beat Hunter Mahan in the final Ryder Cup singles match to clinch victory for Europe on Monday, is among nine members of the victorious team competing in this week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

"Yes, I am joining the U.S. Tour," the Northern Irishman told a news conference. "I took out my card in 2006 and got injured at the start of the season and never really got a chance to experience it.

"So I want to give it a go next year, because it's a non Ryder Cup year and I would like to try the FedEx Cup playoffs." McDowell, who played just eight holes of practice at Carnoustie on Wednesday after the celebrations at Celtic Manor, will have a global schedule next year.

"I am going to play some golf in the Middle East and I'm going to play some golf in Asia and the main events back here, Wentworth and events like that," he said.

"So it's definitely going to be a little more of an American influence to my schedule for the first six months. I want to give it a go out there, just see how it goes. Like I say, I felt like in 2006, I never really had the opportunity to taste it for a full season."