By Brian Keogh
Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.
On a day when Irishman Shane Lowry struggled to a six over 78, world No 17 McDowell raced to seven under after 12 holes thanks to a superb driving and putting display only to drop two shots in his last six holes.
A five under 67 was still pleasing for the Potrush man, who birdied the 10th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, second and third before bogeys at the fourth and eighth took some of the gloss off an otherwise impressive performance.
"I got off to a flier today but it was tough you know, the wind changed around from what we played the course in practice," said McDowell, who leads from Martin Kaymer, Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Chris Kirk, Brandt Snedeker and Tim Clark.
An impressive 44 under par for his last 10 rounds at the venue, McDowell added: "I only missed one fairway all day which is key on this course, especially with the rough up like it is this year.
"The greens are very fast so you have to get on the right side of the flag and I managed to do that. You'll take five under every day of the week! I like the course, love it even, hopefully I can maintain this position going into the weekend."
Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.