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Dublin: 19 °C Friday 14 August, 2020

G-Mac and Lowry in contention after round 1 of Workday Charity Open

McDowell is tied for seventh while Open winner, Shane Lowry, is one shot back after a superb eagle got him back in the frame.

McDowell birdied seven holes in his opening round.
McDowell birdied seven holes in his opening round.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

GRAEME MCDOWELL PRODUCED an impressive opening round in Ohio last night, shooting a four-under 68, to stay in touch with leader, Collin Morikawa.

The Ulsterman hit seven birdies – with a double bogey at the second and a bogey on 18 -blotting his otherwise impressive copybook. However, he trails Morikawa by three shots after the 23-year-old mixed six birdies and an eagle with a lone bogey to post a seven-under 65. Canada’s Adam Hadwin, who set the initial target with an opening-round 66, is second. Hideki Matsuyama, Nick Taylor, Aaron Wise, and Zach Johnson are tied for third at five under.

It was a solid day for the Irish challenge, though, with Shane Lowry tied for 18th after a 69.

McDowell hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation during his first round, getting off to a super start, when he birdied the tenth – his first hole – after a superb 189 yard approach shot to the green.

Birdies on 13 and the par-5 15th hole – where he holed a 6 footer and then a 5 footer -  left him 3 under and looking good. However, he bogied the par-4 18th after hitting the green in three and two putting.

A double bogey on the 455-yard par-4 second, getting on the green in 4 and two putting, left him on level par.

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But he struck back impressively – getting birdies in four of the next five holes – enabling him to finish on 4 under, level with 10 other players, including Justin Thomas, Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed.

Elsewhere, Lowry hit 11 of 18 greens in regulation during his first round, finishing at 3 under for the tournament, tied for 18th.

He also started on the back nine, sinking a 30-inch putt for birdie on the 11th, before he bogeyed 14. A superb birdie on the par-3 16th followed but the 17th was another frustrating hole, as the Offaly man got on the green in three before two putting, moving him to even-par for the round.

Things turned around when, at the 455-yard par-4 second hole, Lowry chipped in his third, carding a birdie for the hole. 

Another bogey followed at the third, but a birdie at five and an eagle at the par-5 seventh, when he hit an approach shot from 243 yards to four feet,left him three under for the round, in firm contention.

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Garry Doyle

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