Graeme McDowell believes he has the short game skills to challenge for his first Major win at Oakland Hills.

But the Ulster ace reckons he must take a leaf out of Padraig Harrington’s book and show even more mental strength if he is to realise his boyhood dream.

The Portrush native, 29, led the British Open in 2006 and again this year but faded to tied 61st and 19th after disappointing weekends.

Now his goal is to stay as patient as possible and battle like hell to stay in the mix until the real action starts on the back nine on Sunday.

“The majors are all about mental stamina,” McDowell said in Detroit. “And that’s been a learning curve for me because I have fallen away on the weekends enough in majors over the last number of years to know that they are mentally and physically more demanding.

“The courses get tougher and tougher and tougher and you have got to be already for that. It is mental stamina, toughness and the short game that wins you majors. Look at Padraig, apart from Tiger, he is probably the best in the game at all those elements.”

Oakland Hills looks more like a US Open venue this year with thick rough making it a massive challenge in the short game department.

And that's why McDowell looks to Harrington as a man who can challenge for the title if he stays out off the rough off the tee.

He added: "The rough is really thick so you have just got to drive it really good, be smart with your irons and chip and putt like Harrington or someone like that."