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McDowell feels game is improving

Graeme McDowell is working on his game ahead of next week's US Open
Graeme McDowell is working on his game ahead of next week's US Open

Graeme McDowell hopes the FedEx St Jude Classic provides the "competitive sharpness" he feels he is lacking before he targets a second US Open title.

The Northern Irishman, who was victorious at Pebble Beach back in 2010, has endured a low-key season thus far, making six cuts at nine PGA Tour events.

He is therefore looking for a timely bounce at TPC Southwind, which holds a purse of 6million US dollars (£3.8million) and acts as a warm-up for next week's US Open at Chambers Bay.

McDowell told pgatour.com: "When it comes to preparing for major championships there are a few ways you can do it, you can try and simulate the conditions you'll find the following week.

"The way that the US Open jumps around it's very difficult to have a solid warm-up venue the week before so you've got to take the rough with the smooth.

"Some years it's going to be a great preparation and some years maybe not.

"I think the comparison of the two golf courses is that they're at opposite ends of the spectrum but I love coming here and getting some competitive sharpness.

"I think, going into a major championship, preparing and playing the golf course and having your game plan together is key - but being competitively sharp and feeling confident that you are playing well, those are just important.

"For me it's been a slow year, I kind of feel that my game's turning a corner so I'll be teeing it up and trying to get some competitive sharpness."

Dustin Johnson - currently ranked seventh in the world - is looking to claim first prize at Southwind for the second time having done so in 2012.

The powerful driver arrives in Memphis on the back of consecutive top-15 finishes while his fellow American Webb Simpson tied for third here a year ago.

Englishman Luke Donald this week sealed qualification for the US Open and makes his first start in the St Jude Classic.

Billy Horschel, Ryan Palmer and Phil Mickelson are also keen to perfect their games ahead of the second major of the year.

Press Association

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