Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

McDowell out to fulfil prediction

Graeme McDowell chasing a second major championship at Royal Lytham

Graeme McDowell hopes he can ensure his premonition of the Claret Jug remaining in Northern Irish hands comes true in the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham.

McDowell will start the final round in the last group after a 67 saw him finish seven under par, four shots behind Adam Scott. The 32-year-old finished second as he sought a second US Open crown in San Francisco last month, but now aims to go one better and follow in the footsteps of last year's Open champion and fellow Ulsterman Darren Clarke.

"Darren was getting a few snaps and a few family portraits done with the Claret Jug last week," McDowell explained. "Some of the photos were pretty cool and I said to him, 'I've got a funny feeling that we'll maybe be bringing that Claret Jug back to Northern Ireland next week'."

He added: "I was talking really from the opportunities that myself and him and Rory (McIlroy) and Michael Hoey have as a whole, and I guess it would be fairly prophetic if I happened to get the job done tomorrow evening.

"There's no doubt I think Darren will be an inspiration and someone that I'll think about a little bit tomorrow. Since I was a young boy I dreamed of coming down that last fairway on a Sunday afternoon, the last group in The Open Championship.

"This is special for me, back-to-back major championships to be in the last group on a Sunday afternoon.

"I talked about it early in the week. I can't expect to win this week, but what I can expect to do is compete if I do the right things, and to give myself a chance to be within three or four of the lead going into a Sunday afternoon and playing with the leader. That's really all I can ask and I'm right where I want to be."

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