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Donald fades late Saturday but only two back of Phil

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ARDMORE, Pa. – Luke Donald finally began to fade at the end of a 5 1/2-hour round. Unfortunately for him, it cost him a share of the lead Saturday at the 113th U.S. Open.

One of the game’s short-knockers, the Englishman tried to get too much out of a 2-iron on the final two holes, dropping three shots and sending him from a share of the lead into a tie for fifth, two shots behind Phil Mickelson.

On the par-3 17th, which measured 253 yards on Saturday, Donald blocked his 2-iron into the bunker short and right of the green and was unable to get up and down.

Then, on the 521-yard finishing hole, he had 241 yards to the hole but came out of his approach shot, and the ball nestled in a nasty lie short of the green. He eventually made double-bogey 6.

“My poor swing is when I attack too hard from the top and I get out of sync and they go right,” he explained. “And unfortunately those holes are playing tough.

“I should have done better. It was disappointing. But I’ll take the positives out of today, a really solid 16 holes of golf that I played, and I’m only two back.”

Donald doesn’t have a particularly strong record at the year’s second major, having never finished inside the top 10 in nine career starts. But Sunday represents a golden opportunity for the former world No. 1, who is still just 35 years old, to shed the label as one of the best players yet to win a major.

“Of course that’s my goal,” he said. “I want to win majors. I got to No. 1 in the world and I’ve won a great amount of tournaments around the world, but I would dearly love to win one of these.”

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