Byline: JAMES NURSEY
GRAEME McDOWELL believes he can repeat his US Open triumph after keeping his cool as fellow Brits crashed out.
The Northern Ireland ace already has his name on the trophy after winning in 2010 at Pebble Beach. d ace n the in 1 And while world No.1 Luke Donald and defending champion Rory McIlroy head for the exit, McDowell kept grinding away yesterday.
o eof He bogeyed the last to shoot 72 to stand at oneover-par near the top of the leaderboard after an opening 69. And the star insists he is right in the mix for tomorrow after Donald finished 11-over and McIlroy 10-over.
an ar he r McDowell said: "This is a tough golf course and people are going to struggle.
"I am sure Rory is disappointed with his defence and Luke is the best player in the world.
s is he d. he is DONALD "I am surprised he didn't do better but this is the US Open and it is a tough test of golf. There is a fine line between a 68 and a 78. It's a brutal test of golf.
a e a "But I am very happy to be where I am.
t e "I think I played some really nice golf the last two days and made enough birdies to offset some mistakes which I think's key. I'm in good et I od LEE shape and I'm happy with my position.
"It does feel similar to Pebble Beach but there's still a long way to go."
McIlroy, 23, who has missed three of his previous four cuts, continued to suffer after an opening 77. The Brit managed to putt off the green on the 12th in his second round as he bogeyed the hole and finished with a 73. His errors included two missed small putts on the closing stretch as he made a bogey four on the last to end 10-over-par.
It was a stark contrast to his record-breaking 16-under triumph at Congressional last summer.
McIlroy, who now plans to return to Northern Ireland this weekend, rued: "It is a reminder to keep working hard because the game doesn't come easily."
y return to this wee remind hard does E ho ta ni Th English ace Donald's hopes were left in tatters by his opening nine-over-par 79 on Thursday. …