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McDowell confident of US Open challenge

ESPN staff
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Graeme McDowell won the US Open in 2010 © Getty Images
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Graeme McDowell is feeling confident of success at this year's US Open, having taken a look at the Olympic Club course ahead of the tournament, which stats on Thursday.

McDowell, the world No. 21, won the US Open in 2010 and has performed commendably on the PGA Tour this year, most notably when he finished second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational during March.

However, he could not make the cut at last week's St Jude Classic, which was won by Dustin Johnson. Nonetheless, he feels enthused by his chances at Olympic Club because of the similarities to Pebble Beach, where he claimed his solitary major.

"To me it seems like it's a left-to-right player's kind of set up," McDowell said. "I like the way it sets up for me so far, and the greens are maybe the best I've seen in a very long time, they roll perfectly. It's going to be a great test: it's the US Open, and we expect it to be tough.

"I'm feeling good. California's been a good state for me: in 2010 I won twice in the state, most notably at Pebble Beach, and we're just up the road from Pebble. The airfield's the same, and we've got that ocean breeze.

"The air's heavy, and the ball doesn't fly so far in the mornings, so you've got to give the wind a lot of respect here. San Francisco's an amazing city, and the place has got an amazing feel to it."

Meanwhile, in the world rankings, Johnson has climbed from No. 20 to No. 10.

World Rankings: 1. Luke Donald (ENG), 2. Rory McIlroy (NIR), 3. Lee Westwood (ENG), 4. Tiger Woods (USA), 5. Bubba Watson (USA), 6. Matt Kuchar (USA), 7. Justin Rose (ENG), 8. Hunter Mahan (USA), 9. Jason Dufner (USA), 10. Dustin Johnson (USA), 11. Steve Stricker (USA), 12. Martin Kaymer (GER), 13. Phil Mickelson (USA), 14. Webb Simpson (USA), 15. Charl Schwartzel (SAF), 16. Louis Oosthuizen (SAF), 17. Adam Scott (AUS), 18. Zach Johnson (USA), 19. Jason Day (AUS), 20. Rickie Fowler (USA).

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