PINEHURST, N.C. – 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.