Graeme McDowell reckons a Rory McIlroy victory would be special for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
The former US Open champion failed to build on a dream start and crashed to a 76 that left him well off the pace on three over par.
But he’s cheering for a McIlroy win today that could help make the tournament even stronger.
“It would be great,” McDowell said of a possible win by McIlroy. “With everything that Rory’s done for this tournament, for him to be able to win this would be a bit special.
“It would really help the tournament go from strength to strength, where it's already going. I'd love to be up there myself but I’ve got to work a little harder.”
McDowell birdied the first and fourth to move into the Top 20 but he three putted the par-five fourth for par from 20 feet, made just one more birdie at the par-five 10th, and racked up seven bogeys as he hit just eight greens in regulation.
“Too many mistakes,” McDowell said. “I got off to the dream start, birdied one and three and had 20 feet for eagle on four and three putted. That kind of summed up my day a little bit.
“I missed the green on five and made bogey and from having the dream start, I was walking to the sixth tee rather frustrated with things and continued to play a bit frustrated the rest of the day.
“I haven't really had it on the greens this week. I haven't really been seeing them very well. I had two or three three-putts and caught up with me in the end a little bit.
“It’s disappointing but I’ve really enjoyed the week and I’m just going to have to go out there and really shoot a low one tomorrow and see if I can finish with a little bit of style.”
McDowell didn’t just have a bad day on the course - he also lost a phone down a toilet.
As he told his twitter followers: “Day began with dead phone, dropped it down the toilet an hour later, 3 putts everywhere, then helped a waiter spill tray of champagne #myday”
The world No 80 fell back to three over par as he mixed three birdies with seven bogeys in a 76.