• US Open

McDowell motivated by fear of failure

ESPN staff
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Graeme McDowell admits nerves will play a part on Sunday © Getty Images
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Graeme McDowell has admitted that he is more daunted by the possibility of failure than the prospect of success as he bids for his second US Open title on Sunday.

McDowell, the 2010 champion, goes into the final round at Olympic Club sharing the lead with Jim Furyk - himself a past winner of the event - thanks to a third round of 68 that left him one-under par for the tournament.

The Northern Irishman is thus one of the hot favourites to emerge victorious come Sunday evening in San Francisco - but the man himself admits that, even though he has been in this position before, the prospect of failure makes him extremely nervous.

"I don't fear success. I only fear failure, really. We all do," McDowell said. "You've got to put the game in perspective. [It] is not going to be the be-all and end-all for me.

"That was really my basic fear, just scared of going out there and messing up, really. I talked to my team and just realised that there's probably 71 other guys feeling the same way and 84 guys already have messed it up.

"Hopefully I've got a few more years in me. If I can go out tomorrow and not put it up on a pedestal, just try to go out and do any job.

"If it's good enough, great. If it's not, perhaps I'll drink a cold beer and get over it."

His recent record in US Opens suggests McDowell has a great feel for the sort of golf required to prosper at undoubtedly the most gruelling event on the calendar. He gave an insight into his approach on the course, revealing that it is vital not to get fixated on the mistakes when they come.

"You've just really got to be unemotional as possible as you can on this golf course," he noted. "I tried to go out today and have two emotions, good emotions and neutral ones. Try to shrug off mistakes, because they're going to come, they're inevitable on this golf course."

Sharing the lead at one-under, McDowell believes any player within five shots of the lead will have a chance to claim victory. Lee Westwood is currently two-over, while Tiger Woods is four-over after a disappointing third round.

McDowell said: "I look at guys at two and three and four-over par in this tournament, who I really think they have a realistic shot to win.

"There's a fine line in this golf course between 67, 68 and 75, 76. There really is. It's a tough course."

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