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Irish Open: Graeme McDowell grabs centre stage

By Peter Hutcheon

Published 30/05/2015

Touch of class: Graeme McDowell chips to the 11th green in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
at Royal County Down PRESSEYE
Touch of class: Graeme McDowell chips to the 11th green in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down PRESSEYE

Graeme McDowell believes he can still win this year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open... even though he needed a birdie at the last to make the cut.

The Portrush man hit a patchy four over par 75, leaving him on five over for the tournament, eight shots behind the leaders.

At Royal County Down over two days with the wind gusting and the rain lashing down, G-Mac believes it is a gap that can be closed.

Asked directly if there was any chance he could pick up the trophy tomorrow, the 2010 US Open champion stated: "I'll need a bit of fortune with the weather, and I'll need conditions in the morning to go out and go low and for the wind to get up for the leaders in the afternoon, but it is absolutely winnable.

"I'll need to play well and I'll need a little help, but anything is possible from here.

"It's very scorable and you can make some birdies and you really can make an impact on this leaderboard."

McDowell, who scored 72 in round one, was going along reasonably steadily until four bogeys in five holes on the back nine left him needing a birdie at the par five 18th to be sure of his place in the field at the weekend.

He did not disappoint the huge crowd surrounding the green, playing the last superbly and almost earning an eagle before tapping in for his four.

McDowell, wearing short sleeves despite the wind and rain battering down, was delighted.

"It was very important for me to be here at the weekend," he said.

Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen acknowledges the crowd on the 16th green during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle.
Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen acknowledges the crowd on the 16th green during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle.
Tyrrell Hatton on the 2nd green during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello celebrates an eagle on the 16th during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain celebrates a putt on the 16th hole on the third day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark waves to the crowd on the 18th hole on the third day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Padraig Harrington meeting members of Irelands special Olympic team at the driving range during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
USA's Rickie Fowler watches his tee shot on the 2nd during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle.
Germany's Maximilian Kiefer watches his tee shot on the 1st during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 30, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
England's Luke Donald watches his tee shot on the 2nd during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 30, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
England's Matt Ford watches his tee shot on the 2nd during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 30, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Austrian golfer Bern Wiesberger drives off the fifth hole on the third day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Rickie Fowler of the United States reacts to an eagle on the 16th hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Tyrrell Hatton of England tees off on the 4th hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Scottish golfer Richie Ramsey watches his drive from the rough onto the 3rd green on the third day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Scottish golfer Richie Ramsey lines up his putt shot on the 5th green on the third day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Richie Ramsay of Scotland looks down the 1st hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Matt Ford of England tees off on the 4th hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Bernd Wiesberger of Austria covers up from the cold during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Luke Donald of England looks down the 4th hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Eddie Pepperell of England walks off the 18th green during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain tees off on the 4th hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Lee Westwood of England chips to the 18th green during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark watches Chris Wood of England tee off on the 1st hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Scottish golfer Richie Ramsey lines up his putt shot on the 5th green on the third day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Darren Clarke plays from the bunker on the 10th during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 30, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina catches his ball during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Andy Sullivan of England looks on with his caddie on the 3rd hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th May 2015? First Minister Peter Robinson pictured during a visit of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club this morning. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson arrives at the course after he was discharged from hospital yesterday, four days after suffering a suspected heart attack, during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 30, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Andy Sullivan of England hits his 2nd shot on the 3rd hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Francesco Molinari of Italy hits his 2nd shot on the 3rd hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Ernie Els of South Africa hits his 2nd shot on the 3rd hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Maximilian Kieffer of Germany tees off on the 1st hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: John Parry of England tees off on the 1st hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Bradley Dredge of Wales tees off on the 1st hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Matthew Fitzpatrick of England pulls a club on the 3rd hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Matt Ford of England tees off on the 1st hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
TOPSHOTS The crowd fills a hill at the 5th hole with the mountains of Mourne in the background on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 30: Anthony Wall of England hits his 2nd shot on the 3rd hole during the Third Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 30, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland gets a ruling on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29 : Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland on the first tee under an umbrella during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland gestures on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland gestures after his tee shot on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Jonathan Bell (L) taking with Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (R) on the first tee during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy plays out of the rough toward the 9th green on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Martin Kaymer of Germany helps his caddie Craig Connelly to his feet after he fell during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Golf Volunteer Ken McCaw from Holywood sheltering under an upturned umbrella during a heavy rain shower surrounded by empty deckchairs on the Newcastle Promanade, while the second day of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open was played at Royal County Down. Northern Ireland- 29th May 2015
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Lee Westwood of England plays his tee shot on the first tee under an umbrella during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks on on the first tee under an umbrella during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (R) looks on on the first tee under an umbrella during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Jonathan Bell trying out an egg chipping contest during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (R) looks on on the first tee under an umbrella during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Martin Kaymer of Germany walks down the 15th hole with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Rickie Fowler of the United States during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Martin Kaymer of Germany walks down the 15th hole with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Rickie Fowler of the United States during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rickie Fowler of the United States tees off on the 16th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 16th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 15th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates his frist birdie of the week on the 7th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks down the 10th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks on with caddie JP Fitzgerald during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Gary McShane and Ciaran Murphy (R), winners of the Emirates Wacky Trousers' day at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Gary McShane and Ciaran Murphy (R), winners of the Emirates Wacky Trousers' day at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark hits his 2nd shot on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark hits his 2nd shot on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Francesco Molinari of Italy hits his 2nd shot on the 9th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Richie Ramsay of Scotland looks down the 9th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 9th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 9th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 9th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the 9th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks on the 9th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy watches his 2nd shot on the 9th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Rory McIlroy on the 9th fairway during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Rory McIlroy on the 7th green during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the 6th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Rory McIlroy on the 9th green during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Rory McIlroy watches his second shot on the 6th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Germany's Maximillian Kiefer lines up a putt on the 1st during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reacts after his second shot on the 4th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Shane Lowry smiles after putting with his wedge during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington plays from the rough on the 8th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Germany's Maximillian Kiefer plays from the rough on the 1st during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Shane Lowry plays from a bunker on the 14th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Shane Lowry plays from a bunker on the 14th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Shane Lowry putts with a wedge on the 13th green during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
South Africa's Ernie Els reacts to a putt on the 13th green during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
South Africa's Ernie Els reacts to a putt on the 13th green during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
South Africa's Ernie Els chips onto the 13th green during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Spain's Sergio Garcia plays from the rough on the 13th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Spain's Sergio Garcia plays from the bunker on the 12th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Spain's Sergio Garcia narrowly misses a putt on the 10th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington watches his second shot on the 13th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington watches his second shot on the 13th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington lines up a putt on the 13th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington watches his tee shot on the 11th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington watches his tee shot on the 10th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington putts on the 12th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Scotland's Richie Ramsay hits his second shot on the 9th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Scotland's Richie Ramsay celebrates a putt on the 8th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reacts after his second shot on the 4th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Shane Lowry smiles after putting during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington chips on to the green during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Finland's Mikko Ilonen watches his tee shot on the 10th during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington (right) and Finland's Mikko Ilonen make their way to the 12th tee box during day two of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 29, 2015. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Austrian golfer Bernd Wiesberger watches his putt shot on the 5th green on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Irish golfer Padraig Harrington plays out of the rough onto the 18th green on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Irish golfer Padraig Harrington waves to the crowd after playing his tee shot on the 17th green on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Irish golfer Padraig Harrington (L) lines up up tee shot on the 17th green, in front of the Mournes mountains, on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Irish golfer Padraig Harrington plays out of the rough onto the 18th green on the second day of the Irish Open at the Royal County Down Golf Club in Newcastle in Northern Ireland on May 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Martin Kaymer of Germany hits his 2nd shot on the 5th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 5th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Lee Westwood of England hits his 2nd shot on the 3rd hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 4th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland runs with his security guard to the 4th tee during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Richie Ramsay of Scotland tees off on the 9th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Richie Ramsay of Scotland lines up on the 8th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Richie Ramsay of Scotland celebrates on the 8th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Richie Ramsay of Scotland lines up on the 9th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rickie Fowler of the United States lines up on the 3rd green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: General View of Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 3rd green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks down the 2nd hole with Martin Kaymer during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Martin Kaymer of Germany tees off on the 2nd hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland waits on the 1st green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks to the 2nd tee during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 2nd hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his 3rd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Francesco Molinari of Italy walks down the 9th hole with Shane Lowry during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Francesco Molinari of Italy waits on the 9th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Ernie Els of South Africa hits his 2nd shot on the 9th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Shane Lowry of Ireland putts with a wedge on the 9th green after breaking his putter in anger during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Shane Lowry of Ireland hitshis approach to the 9th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Shane Lowry of Ireland putts with a wedge on the 9th green after breaking his putter in anger during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Shane Lowry of Ireland smiles on the 9th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Gary Stal of France on the 8th tee during the second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Felipe Aguilar of Chile on the 8th tee during the second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Simon Thornton of Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Mikko Ilonen of Finland tees off on the 11th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Bernd Wiesberger of Austria hits his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Sergio Garcia of Spain hits his 2nd shot on the 15th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Mikko Ilonen of Finland hits his 2nd shot on the 15th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Bernd Wiesberger of Austria walks up the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Alex Noren of Sweden hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Steve Webster of England hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits an approach during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Andy Sullivan of England celebrates an albatross on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Andy Sullivan of England celebrates an albatross on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Andy Sullivan of England celebrates an albatross on the 1st hole with his caddie during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Andy Sullivan of England celebrates an albatross on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Andy Sullivan of England celebrates an albatross on the 1st hole with his caddie during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Simon Thornton of Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Shane Lowry of Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Francesco Molinari of Italy hits an approach during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Francesco Molinari of Italy tees off during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Ernie Els of South Africa hits an approach during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Ernie Els of South Africa tees off during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland lines up on the 18th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Alexander Levy of France waits on the 3rd hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Alexander Levy of France tees off on the 3rd hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Tommy Fleetwood of England hits his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Tommy Fleetwood of England hits his 2nd shot on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland tees off on the 1st hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Sergio Garcia of Spain checks the lie of Padraig Harrington of Ireland's ball on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland gets a ruling on the 18th hole as Sergio Garcia of Spain looks on during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland gets a ruling on the 18th hole as Sergio Garcia of Spain looks on during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland gets a ruling on the 18th hole as Sergio Garcia of Spain looks on during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: David Howell of England hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Ross Fisher of England hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Peter Hanson of Sweden hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium looks down the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Marcel Siem of Germany hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Peter Lawrie of Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Ernie Els of South Africa hits his 2nd shot on the 16th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Romain Wattel of France hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Peter Lawrie of Ireland hits his 3rd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland tees off on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland hits his 2nd shot on the 18th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Mikko Ilonen of Finland looks on during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Mikko Ilonen of Finland tees off on the 16th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Padraig Harrington of Ireland tees off on the 16th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Sergio Garcia of Spain tees off on the 16th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Pablo Larrazabal of Spain hits his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Bernd Wiesberger of Austria lines up his 2nd shot on the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Andy Sullivan of England walks down the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 29: Bernd Wiesberger of Austria (R) and Andy Sullivan of England look down the 13th hole during the Second Round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at Royal County Down Golf Club on May 29, 2015 in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

"Not just because it is the Irish Open and I want to be here but also because my game's coming around and I want to keep testing it.

"I want to keep hitting shots. I need a card in my pocket for another two rounds, so it was really important to birdie the last and to play this weekend."

The 35-year-old, who will be one of the earlier starters today, added: "I'd have been really disappointed to be going home because I felt like I hit a lot of good shots from the last couple of days and I felt it slipping away from me on the back nine with some really clumsy putting.

"It's been a little bit like that in the last couple of weeks. Two rounds this weekend will be important for me."

McDowell has talked all week about the difficulty of the course.

As always, after another 18 holes, his observations were interesting, especially when asked if the Royal County Down was set up too tough, given some of the awful scoring in the opening two days.

"No," was his emphatic answer.

"The course is what it is. It's a difficult golf course. These are very unusual conditions.

"There has been a strong, persistent wind and it's been very cold and very wet with tough squalls coming through.

"If you play any golf course in these types of conditions it will be very difficult. I wouldn't criticise the course set up. I really wouldn't. I think it is a tough course played in tough conditions.

"When those squalls are running through it is brutal but it is fun because the crowds are fantastic and you know the response that we are getting walking on to the greens is great."

McDowell is a hugely popular figure in Northern Ireland, but happens to be around at the same time as Rory McIlroy, the world number one and four time major winner, so there is always going to be more focus on the Holywood native when both are playing in the same tournament.

If Rory is Lionel Messi, G-Mac is Neymar.

On McIlroy not making it to the weekend, McDowell said: "I feel for him on a lot of levels.

"He's not exactly having a rough year though so I'm not going to feel too bad for him!

"To have done what he's done this week and build this tournament up to the type of level that it's at and attract the best players to come to Ireland and Northern Ireland, it's such a big responsibility.

"I'm sure no-one will be more disappointed than him but he's the number one player in the world and he's great for Irish and Northern Irish golf."

McDowell's not too shabby himself. And now he would love to have a real crack at winning his first Irish Open.

Belfast Telegraph

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