McDowell right where he wants to be

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland watches his putt on the 18th green during the third round of...

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland watches his putt on the 18th green during the third round of the British Open golf championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, northern England July 21, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:06 PM ET

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, ENGLAND - After a bumpy start Saturday, Graeme McDowell went a long way towards helping his chances for Sunday.

The Northern Irishman, who’s becoming a fixture on the weekend at majors, rallied to birdie three of the last six holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes for a 3-under par 67 and will be four shots behind when he tees off with leader Adam Scott in the final group at the British Open Sunday.

“Through seven holes, I kind of felt the tournament perhaps slipping away from me a little bit and really had to dig deep for some patience and try to sort of put things in perspective, really, that if I could pick a few up from there I would be right back there in the hunt,” said the 2010 U.S. Open champion.

“The birdie on eight really settled me down. From about the 14th tee onwards, it’s probably about as good as I’ve swung the club all week. I hit some nice shots coming in, some good putts. Left the one on 16 right in the jaws and left myself a bit of a nasty one on the last. But all in all, very, very happy and very proud of myself with the way I swung the club coming in today.”

McDowell is in the last group by virtue of the “first in, last out” rule. He’s tied with Brandt Snedeker at 7-under par, but got the last spot in the final group with Scott because he finished earlier.

It’s where McDowell wants to be.

Who wouldn’t?

“I think since I was a young boy I dreamed of coming down that last fairway on a Sunday afternoon, the last group in the Open Championship and I can draw on my experiences at the Olympic Club a few weeks ago, in the last group of the U.S. Open,” said McDowell. “So this is special for me in back-to-back major championships to be in the last group on a Sunday afternoon. I talked about it early in the week; I can’t expect to win this week, but what I can expect to do is compete if I do the right things and to give myself a chance to be within three or four in the lead going into a Sunday afternoon and playing with the leader. That’s really all I can ask for myself the last few days.

“I’m right where I want to be.”

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

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