Tuesday 25 June 2019

I'm fed up with talk of the Open, I'd rather win this week and not make Portrush - McDowell


Graeme McDowell. Photo: Mark Blinch/Getty Images
Graeme McDowell. Photo: Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Graeme McDowell chiselled out a 67 to keep early leader Scott Brown in his sights in the RBC Canadian Open and admitted he's becoming fed up with talk of the Open.

The Portrush native must finish in the top 10 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club where there are three exemptions up for grabs at Royal Portrush. But, as Scott Brown led the field after a 63 left on 12-under, McDowell admitted his sole concern is to win again.

"I feel like I've had three or four months wrestling with the Portrush dilemma," said McDowell, who has accepted that the R&A cannot issue him a special exemption after speculation about that possibility.

"I'm thinking of putting a statement out on Twitter and saying I appreciate everyone's concern.

"The R&A don't have a precedent where they've invited guys before, and that's fine. At least I know my fate.

"I'm going out here trying to win the RBC Canadian Open this week. I couldn't care less about Portrush. I would rather win this week and not play Portrush. That's the bottom line."

McDowell lies on eight-under overall alongside Shane Lowry who kept in contention with a rollercoaster two-under 68. The Offaly man blemished his round with two bogeys and a double-bogey after four birdies and an eagle while Rory McIlroy lies a stroke behind after a second-round 66.

Pádraig Harrington and Seamus Power look set to miss the cut after rounds of 72 and 70 respectively.

On the European Tour, Thongchai Jaidee spectacularly aced the final hole to knock defending champions Ireland out of the GolfSixes in Portugal.

Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan beat England Women's Meghan Maclaren and Florentyna Park 1-0, then halved every hole with Sweden's Alexander Bjork and Joakim Lagergren in the six-hole modified greensomes format.

But they fell 3-1 to Thailand at Oitavos Dunes where veteran Jaidee (49) aced the 164-yard sixth to leave Ireland third in the group.

Dunne put Ireland 1-0 up with a birdie at the second, but Thailand birdied the third and fourth to nip ahead before delivering the coup de grace at the sixth.

On the Staysure Tour, Paul McGinley shot a one-under 71 to share 15th in the Senior Open Hauts de France at Arras Golf Resort, five shots behind Peter Baker and Miguel Angel Martin.

Ardglass man Cormac Sharvin was the only Irish player to make the one-under cut in the Swiss Challenge in Lucerne after a 69 but he's joint 42nd, ten shots behind Swede Christofer Blomstrand on two-under.

Darren Clarke was just three shots behind Senior PGA champion Ken Tanigawa, tied for fourth after an opening 68 in the PGA Tour Champions' Mastercard Japan Championship.

In the St Andrews Links Trophy, Hermitage's Rowan Lester fired a six-under 66 on the Jubilee to share third place, just two shots behind England's Thomas Plumb and Matty Lamb.

GolfSixes, Live, Sky Sports, 11.30am

Canadian Open, Live, Sky Sports, 6.0pm

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