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Graeme McDowell showing top form again

First, Graeme McDowell needed to knock off a little ring rust and once that was achieved, the Portrush hero showed all the class of a Major Champion as he loped into contention with a three-under par 69 in yesterday's first round of The Austrian Open.

Though four strokes off the searing pace set by George Koetzee's opening 65 McDowell fired a warning shot across the South African's bows as he played the back nine in a five-under 31 which included five birdies.

McDowell admitted: “I played the first three holes awful and it was beginning to look like one of those days yet I hung in really tough. On the back nine you can make a score on this course and I hit a few good shots and sank a few good putts.

“I've come here to shake the rust off. I'm very excited about the Ryder Cup, we've got a great team and I want to go there with my game in shape.”

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