U.S. Open 2014: Graeme McDowell's slide continues at Pinehurst - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

U.S. Open 2014: Graeme McDowell's slide continues at Pinehurst No. 2

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Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, hit out of the bunker on the 16th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Friday, June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) Graeme McDowell, of Northern Ireland, hit out of the bunker on the 16th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Friday, June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — Graeme McDowell spent as much energy Saturday fighting frustration as he did the demanding conditions at the U.S. Open.

Three strokes back after the first round, the 2010 Open winner had seven bogeys in a 5-over 75 that left him 7 over after 54 holes. It was his second straight day over par, sliding him further down the leaderboard after a promising start at Pinehurst No. 2.

READ:  Kaymer outlasts tough Pinehurst for a 5-shot lead

"It's very, very difficult mentally, to stay in it," McDowell said. "You start thinking to yourself, 'I'm not even sure if I want to play tomorrow.' It's not really enjoyable. It's not enjoyable. It's very difficult. But it's the U.S. Open."

McDowell opened with a 68 on Thursday, playing conservatively but putting the ball where he wanted it in a nearly mistake-free performance. But he fell back Friday with a 74, making four bogeys and a double bogey.

Things did not get any better Saturday as the course got harder and faster with unforgiving pin placements.

His sixth hole started a run of four straight bogeys before the turn, with two more coming on the 13th and 16th holes.

"This is a hard golf course for me because it's so long," McDowell said. "I don't get a lot of wedges in my hands, short irons in my hands. That's the strength of my game. ... My iron play hasn't been bad. I just haven't given myself enough opportunities.

"It's the US Open, golf's toughest test. And they were right today."

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