Round-up: McDowell continues resurgence, Leona rising
Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell is in contention again but Seamus Power faces an anxious wait to see if he makes the cut and remains on track to rack up more valuable FedExCup points at the weather-delayed Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

The West Waterford man and his Canadian playing partner David Hearn followed a 68 in the fourballs with another 68 in the second round foursomes at TPC Louisiana.

At eight under par, they are sitting on the cut mark, tied for 28th when play was suspended and while only the top 35 teams and ties survive, they would be unlucky to miss out now, even with half the field yet to finish.

Power holed a 16 footer for eagle at the par-five second before they picked up birdies at the fourth, seventh and 11th to move into the top 15.

But a bogey at the 16th stopped their momentum and while Hearn made a nine-footer for par at the short 17th, they could only par the par-five 18th.

Peter Malnati and Billy Hurley were the clubhouse leaders on 14-under after a 67, one shot clear of Russell Knox and Brian Stuard with the resurgent McDowell and Henrik Stenson just two shots off the pace in a tie for sixth after a 67.

“I feel good,” McDowell said. “I'll take a Stenson not firing on all cylinders as my partner any day of the week. I mean, obviously I feel good on the greens at the minute. I'm hitting a lot of fairways. Henrik hit three chips this afternoon which were just top-notch and we knocked them in and cleaned up some mistakes.

”I feel really good on the greens. I feel like if I can get it inside 30 feet I can make it at the minute, and that's a big part of why my confidence is up at the minute.

 “You know, this morning was important because we ham and egged really well in the better ball, so 7-under was a great effort because I left him hanging a few times, he left me hanging a couple times and we covered each other well.

“But no, you know, foursomes is such a different game, and we hit a lot of fairways and we hit a lot of greens and both of us putted well. It was really pleasing to play as well as we did in what I consider the toughest format in golf, foursomes.”

Shane Lowry and Pádraig Harrington will miss the cut on just four-under after they followed their 65 in the fourballs with a 75, dropping five strokes over their last 10 holes.

On the European Tour, Michael Hoey, Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan survived two tough days to make the cut in the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco.

Hoey birdied two of his last four holes to share 30th on one-under par, carding a level par 73 that left him six strokes behind Americans David Lipsky and Sean Crocker on one-over on the punishing Red Course at Royal Dar Es Salam.

Dunne didn't make a birdie in a two-over 75 and shared 42nd on two-over with Moynihan, who was thrilled to post a brace of 74s to make the weekend having admitted he was "on 90-watch" after soaring to five over after just three holes of his opening round.

”Delighted to be here for the weekend in Morocco after the start I had yesterday," Moynihan tweeted. "Pure graft today."

In the Ladies European Tour's Lalla Meryem Cup on the adjacent Blue Course at Royal Dar Es Salam, Leona Maguire battled back from her opening 76 by making an eagle, five birdies and five bogeys in a two-under 71 to move up to tied 11th on one-over.

She was just eight strokes behind Spain's Nuria Iturrios, who shot 71 to head the first-round leader Lina Boqvist by one shot and determined to chase down the leaders in her quest for a top finish that could secure her place in the AIG Women's British Open.

“It’s not an easy golf course, and you don’t have to do a lot wrong to rack up quite a few bogeys," said Maguire, who holed her third shot for eagle at her second hole, the par-five 11th.

Twin sister Lisa was cut after rounds of 81 and 86, and Leona knows she can't afford to get chase too hard.

"I don’t think it’s a course where you can go chasing a score," she said. "I think you could end up getting burnt quickly. I’ll try to put in two more solid under par rounds and see where it leaves me.”

Stephanie Meadow made the cut in the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open, carding a two-over 73 to share 39th on one-over, eight shots behind Australia’s Minjee Lee. 

Scoring was red-hot in the Turkish Airlines Challenge where just two of the seven-strong Irish contingent made the five-under par cut.

Derry's Ruaidhri McGee shot a second successive 66 to share fifth place on 12-under par, four strokes behind Dane Mark Haastrup (35), whose bogey-free, 11-under 61 gave him a two-shot lead over Adrian Meronk and Matthew Jordan, who both fired 62.

Naas' Conor O'Rourke was tied 19th on nine-under after a 67, but Paul McBride followed his opening 66 with a 74 to miss the cut by a shot with Cormac Sharvin, Robin Dawson, Jonny Caldwell and Gary Hurley also cut.

In amateur golf, Tom Kibbin followed his opening 64 with a 75 featuring a triple bogey seven at the 16th and now shares second place heading into today’s final round of the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.

He’s two strokes behind Nicholas Dunlap on five-under par.

Dundalk's Josh Mackin won the Ulster Boys U18 Championship by five shots at Donegal.

He followed rounds of 68 and 74 with another one over par 74 on a wet and windy day at the Murvagh links to win on three-under 216 from Muskerry's Fionn Hickey. 

In the R&A Girls U16 Amateur Championship at Fulford near York, Holywood’s Olivia McCrystal was the best of the Irish after an opening 78.