Graeme McDowell moves smoothly into contention for Canadian Open

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell carded a flawless five under round of 65 to move into contention after two rounds of the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal GC.

The 34-year-old, who finished tied for ninth at last week’s Open Championship started his round at the 10th and collected birdies at the 12th, 15th, 16th and 18th.

He turned for home in 31 shots but managed just one further birdie on his back nine, at the par four third.

“To make birdies you have to roll the ball well and I did that today,” said Graeme.

“The greens were really nice this morning. They were receptive and you could be aggressive with your iron play.

“On the last nine holes I gave myself a ton of chances but couldn’t get the thing in the hole.

“I’m just happy to have positioned myself in the mix here. There are 36 holes left and it’s just where I want to be.”

American’s Jim Furyk and Tim Petrovic share the lead on 10 under par with home favourite, Graham DeLaet, two shots further back on eight under and McDowell on seven under.

“The wind was gusty this morning and it was definitely a factor,” added Graeme.

“You had to be aware of what the wind was doing and commit to your shots.

“It’s a good test of golf out there. It’s good drying conditions and the course is only getting tougher. I’ve two solid rounds under my belt and hopefully come Sunday I’ll have a chance.”

Meanwhile, Lurgan’s Gareth Shaw stayed in touch with the leaders at the halfway stage of the Challenge Tour’s Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.

Shaw is tied for fourth, two shots behind the leaders after a second round 68 at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil.

The Lurgan golfer was cruising along at two under par after five holes of his second round yesterday before a double-bogey six at the par four ninth threatened to derail his challenge.

However, he responded with birdies at the 11th and 12th before completing his round with a birdie at the par five 18th.

Ireland’s Niall Kearney stayed in the hunt on seven under but Alan Dunbar and Reeve Whitson, both missed the cut.

On the PGA EuroPro Tour, Steve Uzzell claimed his first win when he captured the Kingspan Concra Wood Open by one shot on nine under.

The Yorkshireman began the round one behind George Thacker (Kedleston Park), who had carded a remarkable seven-under 65 for his second round, four better than the next best card that day.

The 26 year old was neck and neck with Uzzell for much of the final round, but a triple bogey on the 17th saw him sign for a 75 on the par 72 course, finishing third on seven under.

Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge Golf Club) was two under for his final round to claim second place on eight under, while Uzzell (Hornsea Golf Club) won with a level-par final round.

It feels fantastic,” said Uzzell, who wins £10,000 for his efforts at the Co Monaghan club.

“It got pretty tight on the last nine holes as you would expect, and it is nice to come out on top for a change.

“I bogeyed the 12th, which is playing something like 200 yards into the wind with water on the left and a really tough flag.

“I thought if I could make par there then I could make a couple of birdies on the last six, but it played tough today with some great flag positions on the course.”