Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Celtic Manor memories lift McDowell

Graeme McDowell

Win or lose at Celtic Manor on Sunday - and he very much hopes it will be win again - the Saab Wales Open has already served a purpose for Graeme McDowell.

The Northern Irish holder will resume on Saturday afternoon one shot behind Swede Alex Noren, whose delight at qualifying last Monday for a first major in America is already paying dividends.

Coming up fast the week after next is McDowell's defence of the US Open and, after moving into second place overnight, he said: "This is perfect - this is absolutely perfect."

He added: "I said earlier in the week that all I want to do this weekend is get into the mix and get the juices flowing, put the game under a bit of pressure.

"I'll take some great positives away. I'm on a golf course I enjoy, I'm in a position that I enjoy.

"I've said my game has been in good shape for the last few weeks and it's nice to back that up with some good golf.

"It's like an energy boost. I've always dreamed of playing a US Open and I'm so happy - so happy."

Noren has shot back-to-back 67s, finishing with four birdies in five holes to reach eight under par.

Welshman Jamie Donaldson and France's Victor Dubuisson resume in joint third place on six under, while 50-year-old Barry Lane was among those one further back.

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