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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

McDowell scrambles, Harrington struggles and Power surges into contention

There are Irish golfers in action on both sides of the Atlantic this weekend.

McDowell just about managed to make the weekend.
McDowell just about managed to make the weekend.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

GRAEME MCDOWELL SHOT a six-under par round of 65 last night to scrape into the weekend at the OHL Classic in Mexico, where he is defending champion.

McDowell carded eight birdies on Friday to make the cut at two-under par, while Seamus Power finds himself in contention as his encouraging start to life on the PGA Tour continues.

McDowell was forced to dig deep after a disastrous opening round of 75 on Thursday threatened to end his interest in the fifth event of the 2017 wraparound season early.

The Northern Irishman finds himself 11 shots off the pace, however, after Gary Woodland fired a six-under par 65 to lead at the halfway stage in Mayakoba.

The 32-year-old from Kansas produced a bogey-free round with six birdies and 12 pars to head into the weekend at Playa del Carmen at 13-under.

Woodland leads by one from Webb Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion, who shot a second consecutive six-under-par 65 to be 12-under after 36 holes.

Power is well positioned, too, having gone two better than Thursday’s first round 68 yesterday. The Waterford golfer lies just five shots adrift heading into the weekend after finishing the day on eight-under par.

Sanderson Farms Golf Ireland's Seamus Power. Source: Rogelio V. Solis

Meanwhile, on the European Tour, Pádraig Harrington endured a difficult morning at the lucrative Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, which is the penultimate event of the Final Series.

The three-time Major winner finds himself at 10-over par after disappointing rounds of 76, 75 and 75.

At the final stage of Qualifying School in Cataluyna, Ireland’s Kevin Phelan, Ruaidhri McGee and Gary Hurley are all hoping to win their Tour cards for next season.

Over the course of the next five days, 156 players, including 36 European Tour winners, are vying to finish inside the top 25 to secure full playing rights for 2017.

Phelan is best of the Irish through the early stages on one-under par while McGee and Hurley are a little further down on one-over par.

Live scoring from the ET Qualifying School available here> 

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Ryan Bailey

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