Graeme McDowell’s Bay Hill chances evaporate

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell’s chances of victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational evaporated after a nightmare second round that saw him slide down the leaderboard.

McDowell failed to record a single birdie on his way to signing for a five over par 77 that left him tied for 57th.

It was a better day for Padraig Harrington who carded a second successive two under par 70 that moved him up into a share of 16th. In contrast, Darren Clarke missed the cut by some margin.

Australian Adam Scott continued to dominate the tournament at Bay Hill, adding a second round 68 to his opening 62.

The reigning Masters champion has opened up a huge seven shot advantage with two rounds remaining.

JB Holmes, Chesson Hadley and Francesco Molinari lead the chasing pack on seven under.

Meanwhile, in amateur golf, NUI Maynooth’s Declan Loftus claimed the Irish Intervarsity Championship at The Heritage.

Loftus defeated University of Ulster’s Tiarnan McLarnon in a dramatic playoff that required four holes of sudden death to separate the players.

The first two holes of the play-off were halved in pars, and then McLarnon missed a major chance from five feet for what would have been a winning par at the third.

At the short fourth, McLarnon’s tee shot finished 30 feet behind the flag, while Loftus played his approach to within 12 feet of the hole.

McLarnon missed his putt, but in the end Loftus finished like a champion, rolling in his birdie two to clinch the title.

Meanwhile, UCD’s Chloe Ryan won the Ladies championship by six shots from defending champion Paula Grant (Lisburn) with UCC’s Jean O’Driscoll in third place.