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Graeme McDowell is relishing Shanghai test

By Phil Casey

Graeme McDowell maintained his brilliant form at Sheshan International to remain in command at the halfway stage of the £5.4milllion WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.

McDowell, who won all three of his matches in Europe's Ryder Cup victory over the United States in September, carded a second successive 67 to lie 10 under par, three shots ahead of Gleneagles team-mate Ian Poulter.

The 35-year-old Ulsterman fired five birdies and no bogeys and has now played his last 11 rounds at the venue in 49 under par after finishing third in 2011 and again 12 months ago.

McDowell said: "It would be very special (to win). The WGC's are a special tier of events and this has always been one I had my eye on. This one and Doral are the two golf courses I feel I perform well on.

"But this is a world-class field. They are bunching up behind me and I have to get out there and keep the pedal down and position myself for Sunday and give myself a sniff on the back nine."

Asked to explain his remarkable scoring at Sheshan, McDowell added: "You don't have to hit it a long way, you have to be accurate and I like these greens. I read them well here, this course is always so well presented and I just enjoy playing it.

"I didn't play as well as I did yesterday. I missed a lot more fairways, which is a big key on this course. You must find fairways to have a chance out there. I got lucky a couple of times and I made some good saves.

"It wasn't my best ball-striking but I hung in there and I'm right where I want to be."

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