PGA Tour

McDowell plans a quiet US Open approach

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Cape Town - Former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell has heard some reports of Chambers Bay, everything from a massive drop in elevation on a par 3 to a fairway wider than a football field. Until his first practice round for the U.S. Open, he is reserving judgment. And even so, expect to hear very little from a guy who often has a lot to say.

Chalk that up to recent experience.

"We're all guilty of getting caught up in the negativity sometimes," McDowell said.

"I made a promise to myself after Valhalla that I wasn't ever going to get caught up with that again. Someone is going to pick up the trophy and laugh at your comments. You have nothing to gain."

By golfing standards, McDowell's comments at the PGA Championship last August would qualify more as sharing a popular opinion than complaining. He referred to Valhalla as unplayable during a deluge early in the third round, and that if the PGA of America is opposed to preferred lies, the third round should have been stopped long ago.

He wasn't a lone voice, though he has thought about the effect.

"Within your own camp, say what you want," McDowell said.

"But there's no point in making comments public. Come Thursday morning, you better be ready to ignore the negativity and position your golf ball."

Ian Poulter caused a stir - imagine that - last month when he said that based on what he heard from others, it would be a farce. Poulter hasn't seen Chambers Bay. He was drawing conclusions based on what others were saying.

McDowell wants no part of that.

"It's hard to talk about an unknown," McDowell said.

"The feedback is negative. But all you can do is go in there with your eyes open and take it for what it is, and try to be as well prepared as you can."

Another former champion, Geoff Ogilvy, also is waiting to see it for himself.

"I don't know what to expect," he said. "I know it will be hard."

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