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McDowell in the hunt at Italian Open halfway point, but disappointment for Lowry

The Offaly man missed the cut as England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick holds a one-shot lead in Rome.

Graeme McDowell is going well.
Graeme McDowell is going well.
Image: Niall Carson

ENGLAND’S WORLD NUMBER 31 Matthew Fitzpatrick opened up a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Italian Open, but major winners Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell were hovering at his shoulder. 

Fitzpatrick carded a second round 65 at the Olgiata Golf Club to be 10 under for the tournament, one shot ahead of Denmark’s Joachim B Hansen. 

Five players were a further shot back on seven under with former US Open champions Rose and McDowell, a native of Portrush in county Antrim, joined by India’s Shubhankar Sharma, Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia and Englishman Andrew Johnston.

25-year-old Fitzpatrick has not lifted a trophy since last year’s European Masters.

“Just a really, really solid day,” said Fitzpatrick. “I figured out something with my irons after the second hole. I just felt much more comfortable with my irons once I was out there. That certainly showed. I only missed one green after that.

When you’re in these kind of positions, it’s always exciting. That’s why you play the game, and look forward to the weekend.

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Offaly man Shane Lowry (71), defending British Open champion, and Francesco Molinari, the 2018 winner of the Claret Jug, both missed the cut as did Ian Poulter, who chose not to defend his Houston Open title in order to play in Rome.

© AFP 2019

Andy Dunne and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to preview Ireland-Samoa, and discuss the utter farce of the World Cup falling foul of Typhoon Hagibis.

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