Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell enjoyed a welcome return to form on the opening day of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on Thursday.
McDowell’s sole top-10 finish on the European Tour this season came back in February and he missed the cut when bidding for a third successive French Open title last week, a second round of 78 being his worst score in 32 rounds at Le Golf National.
The 35-year-old admitted he needed to “clear his mind” of thoughts about technique and looked to have succeeded with an opening 66 at Gullane, which was marred only by bogeys at the last two holes.
“It’s always disappointing to finish with a couple of bogeys but I played some good stuff today,” said McDowell, who carded four birdies in succession in a front nine of 30 and also birdied the 16th before three-putting the 17th and 18th.
“I drove the ball well and the putter was quite spicy the first 11 or 12 holes before cooling down, but I would have taken 66 before going out and I will take it now.”