McDowells Pebble advantage


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – It’s a little early to suggest Europe’s four-decades long slump at the U.S. Open is in danger of ending, but if a Euro can get on the board for the first time since Tony Jacklin in 1970 it may very well be Graeme McDowell.

The Northern Irishman has finished inside the top 10 at the national championship twice (2006 and ’09), has been playing well this year and has something of an advantage on the closest thing the U.S. Open has to a true links venue.

“It’s a tricky dynamic with a cool sea breeze and linksy feel,” said McDowell, who grew up playing the classic links at Royal Portrush and is alone in the lead at 3 under after a round of 68.