Shane Lowry believes he has the game to take on the best in the world, but says he has to be mentally on top of his game for this week’s US Open.
The Clara man brilliantly topped the qualifiers for Shinnecock Hills at his sectional qualifier in Ohio last week and will travel in confidence for the second major of the season, with two top 10 finishes in the past three years.
Two years ago he looked to be on course for a first major before he saw a four-stroke lead evaporate as Dustin Johnson claimed the US Open title at Oakmont.
Lowry will join fellow Irish golfers Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell and Shinnecock Hills and cannot wait for action to get underway.
"I like the US Open. I like the test of it. I like how hard it is going to be," he told RTÉ Sport’s Greg Allen.
"If anything, I think these fairways are a little bit wide for what I’d like, but listen, that’s the way it is. It is still going to be very tricky. Iron play is key this week. There are plenty of tough holes, so I think level par is a good score.
"I love the fact that I will be standing there on Thursday at the tee and you know it is going to be a battle ahead of you and you have to gear yourself up for that."
The usual suspects are among the short odds to succeed at the 7,445 yeard course, but the 31-year-old knows he has the game to trouble anyone.
"If I’m clever about my golf this week, I think I can do well"
"I do see myself as one of the players beneath that top end of world golf, but there is only a handful, maybe eight or nine players, in that top end.
"In my opinion, it’s probably the best world golf has ever been at that level...the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth, those guys are out on their own at the minute, but I feel like in any given week I could beat any of them.
"If I’m clever about my golf this week, I think I can do well. That’s the main thing this week.
"Although your game needs to be good, if you are mentally prepared, you can do well this week."