It was a statement that conjured up some fairly gruesome imagery.

"I would give my left arm for the Claret Jug," said Graeme McDowell. "I would, actually. That would be the end of my career, but it would be a nice way to go."

Slap-dash amputations aside, McDowell would clearly be delighted to get both hands on this cherished clump of silverware.

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"The Open is probably the one that I feel like I have the game to win," he declared ahead of another assault on golf's greatest prize.

McDowell already has a major moments on his cv, of course, having won the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010 but the 34-year-old Northern Irishman is determined to ensure that it will not be his last.

"I feel like I'm ready to kick on to the next chapter of my career now and compete for more majors," added McDowell, who heads into the Hoylake tussle in good spirits having won the French Open recently. "I certainly don't want to be a one hit wonder. I'm more motivated than ever to win another major and I feel like I'm more ready than I've ever been before."

For a player of McDowell's calibre, his Open record remains patchy. He shared fifth in 2012 when the championship was held up the coast from here at Royal Lytham but, apart from that strong showing, there is only one other top-20 finish to boast of over the past decade.

The last time the Open visited this neck of the woods in 2006, McDowell stormed to the front with a 66 in round one but he slithered out of the picture as the event went on and eventually finished down in a lowly 61st place.

Nevertheless, there is something about Hoylake that stirs his senses and fuels his confidence. Not one of the biggest hitters on the circuit - he sits down in 176th spot on the PGA Tour's driving distance chart with an average clatter of 276 yards - McDowell is looking forward to, what he sees, as the more considered, calculated approach this week.

"It's a placement course," he said. "I don't walk on to it and sigh 'this is a 330 yard [drive] paradise'.

"Is distance going to be an advantage here? I don't think so. It asks you to play a game of chess more than anything. This course forces you into little areas, where you need discipline off the tee. I look around it and think, 'yeah, I could compete around here'."