Friday, April 17

Graeme McDowell: 'I Needed Something Like This'

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.

Golf news from Brian Keogh's
Irish Golf Desk.
MASTERS CHAMPION JORDAN SPIETH MAY HAVE suffered an Augusta National hangover as he opened with a 74 but 2013 winner Graeme McDowell felt liberated at Hilton Head as a super 66 gave him a share of the first round lead in the RBC Heritage.

Struggling to find any kind of consistency this year and coming off another disappointing putting week at the Masters, where he was 52nd, McDowell drew on the positives of his win at Harbour Town Golf Links two years ago as made six birdies in a five under effort to grab a share of the first round lead with American Matt Every.

It wasn't just his putting form that pleased McDowell, who has fallen from 15th to 31st in the world since the end of last year and struggled to find his form since he tied for ninth in his season-opening event in Dubai in February.

The Portrush man has also found it tough to hit his reliable cut shot. But he welcomed its return was warmly as he would a  long-lost friend at tight and tricky Harbour Town, where the 35-year old is seeking his first Top-10 in his sixth PGA Tour start of the year.

He confessed that his putting was what pleased him most after another confidence-sapping week on the greens at Augusta National, where his hit-the-back-of-the-hole style does not pay off.

"The blade felt pretty hot," McDowell told Sky Sports.

"After how bad my speed was last week, I was really comfortable with my speed coming here. I blew everything through the break last week at Augusta but this week I am a lot more dialed in. The putter is hot so let’s hope it remains that way at 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.

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