PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – As you leave TPC Sawgrass and before you turn onto A1A you might notice a cluster of upscale shops and restaurants. One of the restaurants is Nona Blue and it’s owned by Graeme McDowell, a sister restaurant of one of the same name in Orlando. This Nona Blue has been THE place to eat this week.
So, Graeme McDowell, 2010 US Open champion and competitor in the Players Championship, are you a golfing restaurateur or a restaurateur golfer? McDowell made it perfectly clear that rounds of 71 and 72, 1-under par, were good enough for him to be a golfing restaurateur and worthy of his place in this event.
“Funny old day today,” McDowell said. “Played my best golf on my front nine. It was very tricky this afternoon, a really good test of golf. Those two 66s this afternoon (by Louis Oosthuizen and Kyle Stanley) were some golf. I am very happy right now though. I feel as though I am right in the golf tournament.”
He smiled at the memory of the fan who had shouted at him after he had driven from the first tee, his 10th: “Hey Graeme. We love Nona Blue.”
“I get that a lot and it makes me really pleased and proud,” he said after his round. “I’m getting very good feedback from players and staff and fans and players.”
He is aware that he may get caught between two stools, devoting too much time to the restaurants at the expense of his golf. A third restaurant is in the pipeline but still some way away.
“I concentrate on my golf,” he said, “but I admit that earlier this week I was thinking a lot about the restaurant. I was in there on Tuesday and it was jumping. I am really pleased.
It has been a good week at the office from a restaurant point of view. I am obviously very keen to make it a good week at the office from a golf point of view as well.”
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