McDowell: ‘It’s going to be a fun day’
Graeme McDowell is greatly impressed by new leader Dustin Johnson, but still believes he can win the US Open.
Graeme McDowell praised Dustin Johnson after the American snatched his US Open lead in Saturday’s third round, but said he would enjoy trying to reel him in at Pebble Beach on Sunday.
Northern Irishman McDowell let slip a two-shot advantage in California on Saturday as he was outscored 66 to 71 by Johnson to trail his playing partner by three strokes heading into the all-important final round of the second major of the year.
Johnson is at six under following his five-under-par round, with McDowell’s level-par effort keeping him in second place, two ahead of world number one Tiger Woods.
Woods also shot a 66 to get to one under, while Ernie Els of South Africa and France’s Gregory Havret are six shots back and Masters champion Phil Mickelson seven behind.
“For sure, I would have taken level par before I stepped on the tee today,” McDowell said.
“It was a breezy day today and I think the USGA firmed the greens up for us.
“And I wasn’t quite expecting Dustin to do what he did, but he played magnificent. He’s a great guy, he’s great to play with and I’m looking forward to playing him tomorrow.”
McDowell said he was impressed by more than just Johnson’s trademark big hitting.
“He was awesome today. He really just stood up and had no fear, hit the shots, hit all the shots,” he added.
“He hit a three iron from 290 yards on four, which was pretty incredible. He hit some big, big golf shots today.
“He’s going to go home and sleep on a three-shot lead, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow morning.
“If he turns up tomorrow like he did today he’s going to be tough to beat.
“But Sunday in a major, I’m happy to be in the position I’m in.”
McDowell said he was not too disturbed with his situation on a day when he did not feel in full control of his swing.
“Obviously I’d like to be three ahead but three back playing with (Johnson), Tiger’s in front of us,” the 30-year-old said.
“It’s going to be a really fun day. I’m looking forward to it.
“I didn’t quite hit it as good today as I did yesterday, perhaps, but to shoot 71 on this layout, not being in control of my game, I’m pretty happy with that.
“I felt like I did my job. Three back, going into tomorrow, I think that’s a good position, I’m looking forward to it.”
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