Graeme McDowell made five birdies in a two-under-par 69 to trail leader Patton Kizzire by seven strokes in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico.
Patton (21) made 10 birdies in a nine-under 62 to lead by two shots from Vaughn Taylor and by three from world No 10 Rickie Fowler and Brandon Harkins as West Waterford's Seamus Power shot a rollercoaster 70 at El Camaleon Golf Club. Scores
Winner of the title in dramatic fashion in 2015, McDowell made three birdies and two bogeys in his first six holes — including a chip-in at the third.
Having picked up his first top 10 finish for over a year in Las Vegas last week, the 38-year old from Portrush then chalked up further birdies at the 11th and 13th to get to three-under-par.
He bogeyed the 14th and finished the day tied for 36th on two-under-par with Power just inside the cut mark in a share of 56th.
The Waterford man turned in level par after following birdies at the 11th and 13th with a double bogey six at the 17th.
Three birdies and two bogeys from the fourth on the back nine got him to two under before he bogeyed the ninth.
Former US Open champion Retief Goosen, 48, is tied for fifth after a five-under 66.