McDowell in final pairing for second straight major

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LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – If Graeme McDowell wins the Open Championship on Sunday, it would be a dream come true.

Literally.

In a share of second place entering the final round, McDowell admitted that he’s already visualized himself hoisting the claret jug in celebration.

“Yeah, it may have crossed my mind from time to time,” he said. “There's no doubt I think we all read books about how powerful the brain is and if you feed the brain with good thoughts and good images, it's fairly good at delivering.”

McDowell is hoping his physical talents are listening to his mental efforts. After rounds of 67-69-67 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, the Northern Irishman finds himself at 7 under, four strokes behind leader Adam Scott in pursuit of a second consecutive Open victory for his country.

In search of a second major championship title himself, McDowell will be paired with Scott in the final round, the second consecutive major in which he’ll find himself in the final twosome of the tournament. At the U.S. Open, he missed a 20-foot putt on the last hole that would have forced a playoff with Webb Simpson, but he said he’s used that close call as a positive experience for this week.

“I took a huge amount of positives away from Olympic,” he explained. “It's the first time I've really kind of put myself in the absolute heat of the battle in a little while. I was reminded that I'm able to control my emotions correctly. I'm able to stay in the moment. And I'm able to kind of get the attitude right for that type of a challenge. Those are really the positives that I took away, and hopefully the positives I'll be able to draw on tomorrow.”