McDowell avoids longest drive

By Brian Keogh

Graeme McDowell avoided a five-hour drive back to Portrush with an amazing birdie-eagle burst.

The Ulsterman, 27, was contemplating a 270-mile trek north after a double bogey at his 14th left him in danger of missing the cut on seven over par.

But a super seven-iron at the sixth followed by a 240-yard three-wood to 15 feet at the seventh helped him finish on four over after a 74

He said: "I was already thinking about the drive home trying to work out whether to go via Dublin or up the west coast.

"But luckily I hit a pretty good seven-iron into the sixth and then two great shots to the par-five seventh and made eagle there.

"So I hauled myself back into the middle of the pack and I will enjoy watching the field come back to me this afternoon."

McDowell still isn't happy with how he is driving the ball after hitting just four fairways in the second round.

He added: "I drove the ball just terrible today. It is just impossible to play this golf course from the rough.

"I have tied myself in a few knots these last few days with technique. I need to get back to basics but I am happy to be in for the weekend."