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Sunday 13 October 2019

McDowell wants friendly fire

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell believes he has "nothing to lose" in chasing a Royal Portrush shoot-out with close friend Shane Lowry at The Open.

McDowell shot one under yesterday to squeeze through the cut at one over after two rounds, leaving the home favourite breathing a sigh of relief.

The 39-year-old revealed he had to refocus after a troublesome opening round, determined to do himself justice as The Open returned to his home country for the first time in 68 years.

Irishman Lowry shares the lead on eight under with JB Holmes and now McDowell is targeting a tussle with the 32-year-old Clara native that would thrill the home crowds.

"Any time you're trying to make a cut on a Friday afternoon, especially at a Major championship, you're always a little tight, a little nervous," said McDowell. "But this one obviously means a lot to play the weekend here; anything can happen.

"With just how much this meant, how symbolic this weekend is, and to make sure I'm in there, this was very important to me.

Swings

"Thankfully I made two nice swings at the last and gave myself a look. It was satisfying to reset and get the attitude right after yesterday.

"That left a little sting, I couldn't face the range, I just went home and watched some of the coverage, and tried to reset. Now I can go out tomorrow and free up a little bit. I can be very loose tomorrow, I can go out there and I've got nothing to lose.

"Certainly mid-60s, I'm certainly very capable of shooting that. I think there's a low one available.

"I'm proud of Shane the last couple of days. I really hope he can keep it going. But also I'd really love to come close to him come Sunday."

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