By Brian Keogh

Graeme McDowell reckons that “tough guy” Padraig Harrington has the short game genius to win at Oakland Hills.

The Ulsterman, 29, was battered by “The Monster” in practice and looks at double Open champion like Harrington as the kind of player who can bring it to its knees.

He said: “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 Padraig Harrington or someone like that. It is a chipping and putting contest really."

Mental strength will be vital and after crashing to a third round 80 in the Open, McDowell has learnt his lesson by watching Harrington closely.

He said: "Majors are all about mental stamina and 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 and the courses get tougher and tougher and tougher and you have got to be already for that.

“You realise that it is mental stamina, toughness and the short game that wins you majors. Look at Padraig, he has all those elements. He is probably the best in the game at all those elements.

“There haven't been too many multiple major winners in the last decade and he has established himself as a real player now."

With two wins this term and his Ryder Cup place in the bag, McDowell is writing off his own chances, adding: “I have been working really hard on my short game with Pete Cowen and I am starting to see the benefits around the greens.

“I can't wait for this to start I feel that I am a better equipped player than I was in the US Open at Oakmont last year.”