Graeme McDowell is targeting a strong run of form to play himself into contention for a return to Europe's Ryder Cup team in 2018.

McDowell has represented Europe at the Ryder Cup four times, winning on three occasions, but missed last year's event at Hazeltine.

The 2010 U.S. Open champion's last official top-10 finish came at the 2016 British Masters but he is confident of stringing together some impressive results to climb the Race to Dubai rankings and earn a place at Le Golf National.

McDowell told Omnisport: "There are a lot of points up for grabs between now and Christmas and there's always a guy who plays hard between now and Christmas and really puts himself right in the crosshairs and can barely miss the team.

"So a strong finish to the year can really put you on the radar and come May, June, July next year - that's when the pressure really starts to build.

"Hopefully I can play between now and then and have things reasonably taken care of."

A five-under 67 on the St Andrews old course earned McDowell a share of 15th at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday.

The competition included a round at Carnoustie, which will host the 2018 Open Championship.

"I think coming back to this event every year, I've played most years of my career, I think it really helps you when it comes to the time for The Open," he said.

"Just your general knowledge of the golf courses and the nuances of the track. Obviously looking forward to being at Carnoustie again."