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“Obviously someone is going to walk away from here tomorrow night as a major champion. I’d love that to be me, and I’d love to experience what it is to go through all that excitement, all that spotlight again,” he said. “I think it would be a different deal this time around. I feel like I’ve probably learned enough about my experiences to deal with it better. But like I say, given the opportunity, we’ll see how we do.”

Call it getting ahead of himself if you want. McDowell wouldn’t argue. Scanning the names on either side of his after the second round, he said candidly, “There’s no one on the leaderboard that scares me apart from myself.”

He wasn’t kidding.

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Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at)ap.org and follow him at Twitter.com/JimLitke.