Sport Golf

Tuesday 20 February 2018

McDowell put out of his misery by stormy interlude

William S Callahan

THE hooter sounded like sweet music to Graeme McDowell at the Barclays Singapore Open yesterday as the Portrush man grappled with a debilitating stomach complaint.

McDowell was very grateful indeed for the intervention of a tropical storm midway through his second round, saying: "It probably kept me in this tournament.

"I'm not feeling great. My caddie Ken Comboy was unwell for the last couple of days and I must have picked up something.

"I felt very lethargic this morning and played the front nine like a blind man. Then, on our way to the 10th tee, the hooter went for the storm, which enabled me to get back to the clubhouse, take fluids and get some rest.

"I played a bit better when I went back out, though I had stomach cramps on the back nine and still am not great. Hopefully it'll pass."

After the delay of two hours and 44 minutes, McDowell completed his second round on the Tanjong course in level-par 71 to lie just inside the projected cut mark on three-under.

This was nine shy of clubhouse leader James Morrison after the Englishman carded an impressive 68 on the longer and more difficult Serapong course.

Even in full health, 2010 US Open champion McDowell concedes he can't quite get his head around the Tanjong.

"That course just beats me up," he said. "I know I should whip it around in 65, but I never do."

There were no such problems for McDowell's fellow Ulsterman and 2001 Walker Cup team-mate Michael Hoey yesterday, as he gave a veritable short-game clinic during a 66 at Tanjon, which left him tied fifth in the clubhouse on nine-under.

Shane Lowry berated himself on Twitter for "leaving a couple out there" after two late bogeys in his second-round 70 at the Serapong left him on five-under (and with an outside chance) going into the final 36 holes.

Though a godsend for McDowell, the storm was massively inconvenient for the 71 golfers who had to complete their second round early today. They included off-colour Padraig Harrington, who needed to play the final five holes on the Serapong in four-under to avoid his seventh missed cut of 2011 and second in succession in Singapore.

Peter Lawrie was one outside the likely mark on two-under with 10 to play on the Serapong, while Paul Cutler was flying when darkness fell. Five-under through nine at Tanjong, he was one-under for the tournament and within reach of making his first cut in four outings as a pro.

Sadly, Paul McGinley, Niall Turner and Damien McGrane all missed the boat.

Singapore Open, Round 4,

Live, tomorrow, Sky Sports 1, 3.0am

Irish Independent

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