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Bad swings mar Donald's day at Open

"I should have done better," Luke Donald told reporters.

"I should have done better," Luke Donald told reporters.

ARDMORE - Two bad swings on the last two holes at Merion Golf Club cost Luke Donald the outright lead at the U.S. Open on Saturday after he had played superb golf in difficult conditions during the third round.

A stroke ahead at two-under par, the English world number six bogeyed the par-three 17th after hitting a two-iron off the tee into a bunker, then used the same club to end up in a poor lie in heavy rough at the 18th on the way to a double-bogey six.

"I should have done better," Donald told reporters after carding a one-over 71 to drop back into a three-way tie for fifth at one-over 211, two strokes behind pacesetting American Phil Mickelson.

"It was disappointing, but I'll take the positives out of today. I played a solid round today other than those last two holes, and it could have been even better.

"Through 16 holes, I could have been four or five-under. I really was playing as good a golf as I have played for a while. I'll forget about those two holes and carry on tomorrow."

Former world number one Donald, who has yet to win his first major title, felt that his two bad swings on 17 and 18 stemmed from trying to force a bit more distance out of his two-iron.

"It might be a little bit of fatigue, but it was both yardages I had to get a little extra out of the two-iron," he said. "And my poor swings are when I attack too hard from the top and I get out of sync and they go right.

"And unfortunately those holes are playing tough. They're long. I'm standing on 17 and it's 253 yards, I got to carry that ridge at about 240. For me that's a lot, a huge big two-iron for me. And 18 is 521 yards."

Donald, who had been two-under for his round after 16 holes, firmly believes time is still on his side as he seeks to land a first major title.

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