Menu

Missing in all the right places: Graeme McDowell shows how to grind it out at the US Open

  • 45b6afe7f6a9dc16560f6a7067003e95.jpg

    Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, waves on the first green during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Associated Press

  • 9d1b6b75f719de16560f6a70670020d9.jpg

    Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, reacts to his putt on the sixth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt York)The Associated Press

  • cc0dd92af785e016560f6a706700e02a.jpg

    Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, hits his tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)The Associated Press

Graeme McDowell watched his countryman and playing partner boom shot after shot, attacking the treacherous greens at Pinehurst No. 2 every chance he got.

Was McDowell tempted to try the same?

Not at all.

McDowell hardly dazzled with the way he struck the ball but kept putting it right where he wanted, setting up a 2-under 68 that left him tied for the lead at the U.S. Open on Thursday.

He stumbled only once with a bogey at the longest par-4, the 529-yard fourth. McDowell bounced right back with an eagle at the par-5 fifth, made his lone birdie of the round at the 14th, and put down par for everything else.

His fellow Northern Irishman, Rory McIlroy, hit the ball better off the tee but settled for a 71.