Wednesday 16 October 2019

McDowell battles back at Honda

Paul Dunne. Photo: Getty Images
Paul Dunne. Photo: Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Graeme McDowell showed the grinding qualities that made him a US Open champion when he produced two late birdies to haul himself up to the cut line the Honda Classic.

Battling to win back his tour card on limited starts and sponsors' invitations, the former world number four (39) added a two-under-par 70 to his opening 72 to teeter on the two-over-par bubble.

After starting with a bogey at the 10th, he cruised through the Bear Trap with birdies at the 16th and 17th but found himself four-over with five to play when he bogeyed the second, third and fourth.

But he never gave up and birdied the 185-yard seventh from nine feet before making a 13-footer for a birdie at the ninth. Korea's Sungjae Im fired a six-under 64 and Keith Mitchell a 66 to lead by a shot in the clubhouse on six-under from Lucas Glover.

But the nightmare season continued for West Waterford's Seamus Power as he found water three times and missed his ninth cut from 11 starts, crashing to an eight-over 78 to finish on 11-over.

Greystones' Paul Dunne faces a grim battle to make the cut today after vicious sandstorm blasted the field in the Oman Open. Just four hours of play were possible before unexpected high winds whipped sand across the seaside Al Mouj course, and with balls moving on the greens, officials halted play and were unable to resume.

Dunne made two birdies and two bogeys and was level for the day, a shot outside the projected cut mark on two-over with five holes of his second round to go. Dane Joachim B. Hansen (16 holes) was tied for the lead with first-round leader Kurt Kitayama (13 holes) on six-under when play was called off. But Gavin Moynihan did not get to start and was scheduled to begin his second round tied for 16th on three-under.

Darren Clarke was five shots behind leader Kenny Perry after opening with a three-under 70 in the PGA Tour Champions' Cologuard Classic at Omni Tucson National

On the Ladies European Tour, Leona Maguire birdied three of her last five holes to lie just four strokes off the lead heading into last night's second round of the ActewAGL Canberra Classic, tied for 21st after opening with a two-under 69.

It was also a good day for Irish amateur golf in the South African Strokeplay Championship where Kilkenny's Mark Power closed with a second successive 67 to finish tied for third at De Zalze Golf Club in Stellenbosch behind South African teenager Jayden Schaper (17). The Oman Open,

  • Live, Sky Sports, 6.30am The Honda Classic, Live, Sky Sports, 1.0pm

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