Kenneth Ferrie admits playing partner Phil Mickelson will be a hot favourite to claim the US Open on Sunday but is backing himself for a surprise win.
Ferrie kisses his putter after sinking another clutch putt on Saturday
The 27-year-old Englishman posted a third-round 71 to share a one-shot lead with the world number two at two over.
"I don't think many people are going to give me a chance of winning," he said.
"But if I can go out there and do what I've done for the last few days and get a few breaks to go my way, there's no reason I can't be up there."
Ferrie, playing in only his fourth major and first US Open, carded an eagle, a birdie and four bogeys on a day when many expected him to slide down the Winged Foot leaderboard.
But the Ashington-born golfer, who has until now been as well known in European golf circles for his temper as his undeniable talent, said: "This is the biggest stage in golf and so far I'm front and centre.
"It proves to a lot of people that I deserve a little bit of respect for what I do.
A lot of people are shocked, but everybody has to start somewhere
"My whole game is based on fairways and greens, I don't overpower courses like Tiger (Woods). This course is very good for my sort of game and I'm a huge fan of the set-up."
When asked about the challenge of going head to head with the 36-year-old Mickelson, who has won three of the last nine majors, and the last two in a row, Ferrie answered honestly but with the same quiet confidence he has shown all week.
"Obviously Phil is going to be the huge favourite," Ferrie said. "It's my first time and I don't know myself how I'm going to handle it. I could go out all guns blazing and play great or shrink under the spotlight.
"But I'm a capable player and I've won twice in Europe.
"I'm not coming here as a local guy in England who happened to get lucky and qualify. I qualified on merit, finishing 11th in the European Order of Merit last year.
"A lot of people are shocked, but everybody has to start somewhere.
"I'm in the game of golf to be as good as I can be, and obviously America is the biggest stage for that.
He's in the final group of the US Open so he's got to be a good player
"And if I can become a household name over in America, then I must be doing something right. That's kind of the plan."
The 2005 European Open champion, the 102nd-ranked Ferrie is clearly not a household name in the US just yet.
Even Mickelson, who could join Ben Hogan and Woods on Sunday as the only players since Bobby Jones to have won three majors in a row, said he was not familiar with Ferrie but diplomatically said he expected a tight battle when the pair tee off at 2000 BST.
"He's in the final group of the US Open so he's got to be a good player," added the American.