G-Mac’s alarm call
Postage Stamp

Postage Stamp

Graeme McDowell saw his Friday night out with the lads severely curtailed and his Saturday morning ruined by a triple bogey at the Postage Stamp

After finishing on four over par after two rounds, the Portrush star expected to miss the cut comfortably and opted to put his head down for a few hours before hitting the pubs with pals

But his plans changed quickly.

After signing for a 72 that left him in the bottom half of the field on five over par, McDowell recounted the call that interrupted his Friday afternoon snooze.

“I woke up to my phone ringing,” he said. “It was my caddie on the phone. He said, ‘Wake up, we're T-69.’ 

“I said, ‘Wise up. There's no shot.’ I like literally was taking a nap to go out for a bit of dinner and a few pints with the boys to get on a flight to Orlando this morning at half nine.

“It's probably the most unexpected cut I've ever made for sure. 

“Literally I didn't think three-over had a chance, never mind four. But obviously this weather had the last word yesterday.”

Asked if he went out and had a few pints anyway, he joked: “No, not as many as I was going to have, let’s put it that way."

It was a good 72 considering he racked up a triple bogey six at the Postage Stamp eighth.

McDowell sighed: “I lost my concentration for a second on the Postage Stamp there. I mean, I just hit a bad shot, plugged in that bunker, had no shot. It was underground.

“It was the front bunker.  I ballooned the wedge and it was plugged. Tried to come out left, hit the bank, kind of kicked behind the trap, hit a bad pitch. And I three-putted it as well just to be sure to be sure, you know?”

The Portrush star McDowell is four over for the 123-yard par three after opening with a bogey there on Thursday.

He said: “That was not really what I had in mind there today. A triple-bogey is never going to work at any level.

“I got it out in one, but I ripped it into the lip and it bounced out backwards. It was an unusual way to get out. 

"My first ball was plugged very, very deeply, and I thinned it into the lip and it ricocheted backwards, and I chipped it up to the green and three-whacked.”
Asked if the hole was more intimidating than Calamity, the fearsome 230-yard 14th at Royal Portrush, McDowell said: “At least Calamity gives you a bailout. 

"The thing with Postage Stamp is there are no good lefts, no good rights, no good fronts, shorts.” 

Pádraig Harrington had “an average” day on the greens until he holed a 22 footer on the 18th for a 73 that left him in the pack on two over par.

He said: “I just hit average putts. I didn't hit brilliant putts. I didn't hit perfect putts. I hit average putts. They were going in yesterday. They weren't going in today.”

As for Darren Clarke, the European Ryder Cup skipper bogeyed three of his last four holes for a 73 that leaves him a shot further back on three over.