Graeme McDowell the 30-year old Northern Ireland golfer is the shock leader at the midway point in the U.S, Open.

The Ulsterman carded a two round total of 139 to post a score two strokes ahead of the field. Phil Mickleson and Ernie Els are hot in pursuit just two behind.

Padraig Harrington is seven shots behind McDowelll but still not out of it over a very difficult course.

Rory McIlroy failed to qualify.

McDowell, who was up at 4.30am for his tee-time had six birdies and three bogeys in his round.
He has even begun to think of winning the tournament

“You know, I’d be lying if I hadn’t thought of picking up the trophy on Sunday afternoon. I think that’s only natural. But I’m trying to be very realistic as well. I’m really trying to put no expectations on myself this weekend because, A, I know there’s a lot of great players out here, and B, this golf course is extremely difficult.

“But I’m probably as ready going into the weekend of a major as I’ve ever been.

“Is this weekend my weekend? I have no idea. But I’ll certainly be giving it my best shot, giving it 100 per cent. If I get a sniff Sunday afternoon, I’ll be ready for it.

“Winning major championships is what I’ve dreamt of all my life and what I’ve practised for. That doesn’t mean my name is on the trophy. There’s a hell of a lot of work to do. This course is ready to bite you any second.

“I’m going to be relaxed and disciplined and try to keep control of my emotions and see where that leaves me,” said McDowell.