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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Birdie on the last has McDowell in with 'half a sniff' in Carolina

Those golf tips from Condoleezza Rice last week must be helping.

Graeme McDowell and Condoleezza Rice at the US Masters.
Graeme McDowell and Condoleezza Rice at the US Masters.
Image: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

GRAEME MCDOWELL IS just four shots off the lead at the RBC Heritage championship at Hilton Head in South Carolina.

The Antrim golfer put together his second sub-70 round in succession to go to -7, four back from leader Charley Hoffman after the third round.

A bogey at the second was McDowell’s only blip as he reeled off three birdies in his opening six holes. He missed some makeable puttss on the back nine but slotted home a birdie on the last to give himself hope ahead of this afternoon’s final round.

He said, “It was a little, kinda off my game today. I couldn’t seem to quite get it going; I was trying to force the issue. [My putts] were kind of 15 feet all day and I couldn’t make anything. I was frustrated by it.

I saw the great start that a couple of guys had gotten off to in very benign conditions. That overnight rain really softened the greens. I couldn’t quite get it going but it was nice to slip one in there at the last.

“I’ll go into [the final round] with half a chance. I’ll have to go low. I hope these greens get a chance to firm up.”

The winds in and around the Hilton Head course could kick up to 50kph this afternoon. Upon learning that, McDowell joked, “That sounds good. This course is tricky at the best of times but put a stiff breeze across it and it will really test us out.”

He added, “It’s nice to be going into the final round with half a sniff.”

At the Spanish Open in Madrid, the Irish challenge has wilted on the final day. Peter Lawrie shot a 70 to finish on -1 and is currently in the top 20.

David Higgins dropped down the field with a disappointing round of 76 to finish on +4. Shane Lowry had a worse time of it as he signed off with a 78 to finish on +8. Marc Warren of Scotland currently leads by two strokes.

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Patrick McCarry

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