Thursday 23 November 2017

G-Mac shows true grit


Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

William S Callahan

Graeme McDowell showed the true grit for which he is renowned by turning a potential disaster round into a personal triumph in the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis yesterday.

McDowell had the proverbial game of two halves - a scrappy, tormented first nine 39, followed by a sublime nine-shot shot improvement for a 30 on the inward half.

The resulting 69 improved the 2010 US Open champion's overall standing by just one shot, moving him to two-under par, but what a morale-boosting salvage job he performed to keep himself in the tournament.

Resilient and defiant, G-Mac refused to buckle under pressure, and that's no surprise to McDowell's coach, Pete Cowen.

Cowen, who has five Major champions on his coaching CV - Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen, McDowell, Danny Willett, and Henrik Stenson - told 'Golf Digest Ireland': "When Graeme is on, his courage and self-belief are unreal."

McDowell started off the 10th tee and he certainly wasn't 'on' for his first nine as he had a few too many encounters with sand and water en route to his 39. Two pars and two birdies were the only highlights on that stretch.

But on his back nine, it all changed, with five birdies in seven holes transforming his scorecard before he rounded it off by holing from 31 feet off the green for a final birdie on the ninth, his 18th hole.

Seamus Power was among the later starters.

Chez Reavie (USA) and Spain's Seb Munoz led in the clubhouse at nine-under par.

Lyoness Open

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FedEx St Jude Classic

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