Confident Lowry aiming to turn dream into reality at Oakmont


Shane Lowry has already visualised winning the U.S. Open as he prepares to begin the final round at Oakmont with a four-shot lead.

Having led by two overnight with four holes to play in his penultimate round, Lowry significantly enhanced his position on Sunday morning, birdieing the 15th and 17th to reach seven under for the tournament.

The unheralded Andrew Landry and Dustin Johnson - a perennial challenger in golf's premier events still to taste success - represent the Irishman's nearest rivals, while all of the top eight on the leaderboard are seeking a first major.

That could well make for a nervy Sunday in Pennsylvania, but Lowry - ranked 41st in the world just as Angel Cabrera was when the Argentinian won the last U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2007 - appeared cool and confident as he assessed the test ahead of him.

"I think it [the final-round strategy] is just the same as I've been doing all week. Just trying to hit the ball down the fairway and hit it on the green. Try and make pars," said the 29-year-old.

"Every par you make, kind of put it in your pocket and get on to the next tee. If you get yourself out of position, you've got to make bogey. And if you get yourself in a good position, then you've got to take your opportunity and make a birdie.

"That's just the way I've looked at it all week and I just need to do that this afternoon."

Asked how tricky it will be to stay in the moment and focus on each shot, Lowry replied: "It's going to be tough. I mean, let's be honest, I've already visualized myself winning. Even out walking around the course this morning, when you get a few moments to yourself, you do think about that.

"But when it comes down to it, you've just have to get the shot that's in front of you. So I've let myself do that sometimes. Sometimes it's not the worst thing.

"Sometimes when you try too hard not to think about something, that's the only thing you can think about. So [I] just let myself think about it. Then when I need to, I just get back to the job at hand."

Lowry acknowledged his fine finish to round three had exceeded his own expectations.

"To be honest, I probably would have taken four pars. But two birdies is really nice," he added. "I hit the ball lovely again this morning and, you know, it's nice."