Graeme McDowell reckons he has a mental edge of 60 percent of the field as he prepares to challenge for his second US Open title in three years.
The 32-year old captured the title just down the coast at Pebble Beach in 2010 and while he’s just missed three successive cuts he insists he feels nothing but good vibrations about the Olympic Club.
McDowell said: “I think a golf course this difficult is going to take 60 per cent of the field out of play because 60 per cent of the guys are going to let this course get to them.
“It’s going to beat them up and that’s going to leave 40 or 50 guys who can get it round here.
“Those are the guys you’ve got to beat – you’ve got to make sure you’re one of them first and foremost and stay patient enough to be still standing come the weekend.
“I remember a few years ago at Oakmont, I played the first nine holes, missed one green and was walking off the ninth three-over par and just about to throw myself off the bridge there.
“And Kenny, my caddie, said to me ‘listen, come on, settle down. At a US Open you’re only ever five or six pars away from a respectable score that’s not going to blow you away out of the tournament.’
“You’ve got to stay patient. The bogeys are going to come. You’ve just got to shake them off and refocus.
“You can’t go flag-hunting. You’ve just got to stay in the present and give this golf course the respect that it needs.”
As for his recent form, McDowell is dismissing it as a blip and looking forward to bouncing back to form this week.
“There’s certainly no panic button,” said the Ulsterman, who missed the cut in the Players Championship, the BMW PGA and last week’s FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis.
“I’ve done some great work with Pete Cowen and I really feel like I’ve turned a corner with a few swing thoughts. I’m looking forward to a big summer from here.”