Saturday 18 November 2017

McDowell and Lowry slip further back in World Cup of Golf

Graeme McDowell speaks as team-mate Shane Lowry looks on during a press conference ahead of the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne Golf Course
Graeme McDowell speaks as team-mate Shane Lowry looks on during a press conference ahead of the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne Golf Course

The Irish pairing of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry have dropped to 17th place after round two of the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne.

McDowell returned an even par second round while Shane Lowry was one over as the Irish pairing slipped further off the pace after today's round two played in Melbourne.

A poor finish to the round cost both Irish players. McDowell bogeyed the last for a level par 71 before Lowry finished with back-to-back bogeys for a 72 as they ended the day ranked 17th of the 20 nations on six over par. The US side of Kevin Streelman and Matt Kuchar are three clear of Denmark on 10 under.

Thomas Bjorn added a second-round 68 to his opening 66 to take the individual lead into the third day but the United States team hold a three-stroke lead.

The 42-year-old Dane leads Kevin Streelman by one stroke after the American paid a high price for thinning a bunker shot on the ninth hole, making a double bogey to surrender a four-shot lead accrued through Friday.

Streelman is, however, on course to defend the team title for the USA alongside Matt Kuchar - the pair reached 10 under par at the midway stage.

Kuchar started Friday's second round with birdies on the first two holes and held on for a three-under 68.

The Danish team of Bjorn, who opened and closed his round with a bogey, and Thorbjorn Olesen are the closest challengers on seven under par.

Bjorn said: "There were a couple of things that happened on the golf course today that really tested me. I three-putted the first, so got caught a little bit there.

"But after that I patiently worked my way into the round and played very solid. Maybe not quite as good as yesterday on the front nine, but on the back nine I played awesome.

"Obviously it was disappointing to bogey the last, but if you'd asked me when the ball was in the air, I would've said you couldn't have hit a better golf shot.

"But you have got to take that on this course. Some bounces go your way, and some go against you on this course.

"Maybe I was a bit unfortunate, but I have to remember that I played some really, really good stuff on that back nine."

Third place is shared by Australian hopeful Jason Day and Ricardo Santos of Portugal, who signed for 70 and 69 respectively.

Santos said: "Because the course is so hard and firm, it's so easy to make a bogey or even worse. So you just have to be very patient, and around the greens you have to be really hot.

"My short game today was very good, and it needs to be at the weekend too."

Press Association

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