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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 June 2007, 21:40 GMT 22:40 UK
Dougherty delights in major best
Nick Dougherty
Dougherty can be delighted with his Oakmont showing
Nick Dougherty shot a one-over 71 on Sunday for a 10-over total at Oakmont and his best finish in a major.

The 25-year-old Liverpudlian holed a 20ft putt at the last for par on a day when he showed considerable heart.

Dougherty, who came through an international qualifier at Walton Heath, will rue a poor finish on Saturday and missed putts at 16 and 17.

But his fighting round gave him a share of seventh and a place in next year's Masters and US Open.

Prior to this performance at Oakmont, the toughest venue used by golf's toughest major, the 2002 European Tour rookie of the year had only made one cut in his five previous appearances in major championships.

And it could have been so much better for the Nick Faldo protege. After his opening 68, he shot a poor 77 on Friday but played much better alongside Tiger Woods on Saturday until a double-bogey, bogey finish derailed his challenge.

I have competed against the best players in the world and I have held my own - I'm chuffed with that

Nick Dougherty
But after mixing two birdies with two bogeys in his first six holes, he then parred the next nine to revive his thin hopes of victory.

"When I got to the turn I thought if I could play the back nine in three under I might just have a chance," he said after his round.

As it was, the putts just would not drop and he could only come home in one over.

"It was a tough week but I am extremely pleased with how I have come through it, and it has done the world of good for my profile in the US," he added.

"I have competed against the best players in the world and I have held my own - I'm chuffed with that."

Graeme McDowell is another young British talent who can be reasonably pleased with his week at Oakmont. The Northern Irishman did not enjoy the best of Sundays, carding a seven-over 77, but there was no disgrace in his 17-over total.

Finishing one shot worse off was England's Lee Westwood. The Ryder Cup stalwart matched his best round of the week, a 72, to finish on the same score as his compatriot Ian Poulter, who slumped to a 77.

And one behind that pair was Kenneth Ferrie, who finished in a tie for sixth on his US Open debut last year. He recorded his best round of the week, also a 72, to finish on 19 over for the tournament.

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