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Jim Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion at Olympia Fields outside Chicago, bogeyed the final three holes to finish two shots back of Webb Simpson. While history might remember Furyk’s foiled finish more than anybody, the last image of the 112th U.S. Open belongs to McDowell’s putt.

What should also be remembered is this former major champion’s fight all week on a course that restored “golf’s toughest test.”

The only round above par McDowell carded was the last. He bogeyed four holes on the front nine and made the turn seemingly out of contention and lost in the fog that blanketed these tight, twisting fairways.

McDowell rallied with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 only to bogey the next two. As he had done all week, he put himself back in the hunt.

McDowell holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th in one last fury. He followed with an approach shot on the 72nd hole of this championship that had him sprinting up the hill to find out where his chances of extended an excruciating week at least one more day.

That was one obstacle he couldn’t overcome.

“It’s like a really fast, scary roller coaster that you get on at the time and you’re not sure if you like it and it’s kind of scary,” McDowell said, recalling a conversation he had with his caddie, Ken Combo. “But once it’s done and you look back, you realize that you had a lot of fun and you would like to do it again, and that kind of sums up what it’s like to compete on the big stage at a major championship.

“So it hurts. You want it really badly, you practice so hard to be there and it hurts when you’re there. But when it’s all done you think back and you think, I would like to do that again.”


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