Graeme McDowell: Coronavirus impact on business & # 039; scary & # 039;

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Graeme McDowell has won four times on the PGA Tour

Graeme McDowell should have participated in the WGC Matchplay this week, an appearance that would have completed a remarkable year-long trip to the top table of golf.

Instead, the closure of the corona virus has left the former US Open champion struggling to focus on golf and worrying about the future of his restaurant business.

"I feel that what we're going through now will change the world as we know it in many ways," said the 40-year-old.

"Thoughts are with our staff trying to get them through this difficult time."

McDowell spoke of the workers who run his two "Nona Blue" restaurants – one in Orlando and the other a few hours further north in Ponte Vedra Beach.

"We had to make the difficult decision to close the doors of both restaurants," said Florida-based Northern Irishman. "We are doing our best to compensate our employees in the short term as much as possible.

" I think we will be as good as paid until the end of this month and I think all insurance and benefits for everyone employees will be paid until the end of next month. But cash flow is going to be a problem, I mean, how long can we keep this up? "

McDowell relies on its business partners to guide the company through the current uncertainty." It shows me how big this is financially and the impact it will have on society, "he said.

" We have two pretty successful restaurant businesses and suddenly we close our doors and we barely have enough money to keep them alive for the next two or three months.

"You are performing a successful operation and something like that is happening and you are actually thinking about whether we can successfully get to the other side and that is scary.

" It is scary to see how quickly it can affect companies around the world and you realize how vulnerable the situation is and how big the impact. "

McDowell says they employ about 70 people in both restaurants." These are tough times for everyone right now, and we rely on the powers to make the right decisions across America and around the world, "he said.

Golf remains his top priority and McDowell can reflect on a extraordinary 12 months Exactly a year ago he traveled to the Dominican Republic for a relatively small PGA Tour event with his career in apparent free fall.

For someone who used to play majors and golf world championships, it was a major downgr But Portrush-born Northern Irishman considered it “an opportunity and not a punishment.”

He took the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship to start his career resurrection. & # 39; It was a great turning point and a big step in the right direction to get my career back on track, ”said McDowell.

" It helped me play in the O pen Championship in Royal Portrush and eventually led to victory in Saudi Arabia this year, which put me back in the top 50 of the world. "

That's why he should have played in Austin Texas next week of the world's best players.

Concentrating on golf is not easy, but McDowell plays with fellow members at Lake Nona and does his best to isolate himself and his family from infection.

"Without having that target, that target and normal schedule for me to get my teeth in was hard to get focused," he said. "It took me 10 days to understand the scope of what we are experiencing."

And he realizes that the current sports dropout is causing enormous problems for the golf calendar. "I can't imagine the puzzle of the European Tour and the PGA Tour," he said.

"For me, the big championships take precedence over the Ryder Cup," added McDowell. "It only becomes a viable opportunity if we feel good about the qualifying process and we find the teams are legit.

" It's such a tough question. "

And like he knows better than most athletes, that is just one of many questions in these troubled times of uncertainty.

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