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McDowell happy at halfway

Graeme McDowell is confident he is well placed to mount a successful challenge for the UBS Hong Kong Open title after the US Open champion shot a five-under 65 to sit three shots behind leader Ian Poulter at the halfway stage of the tournament.

The Northern Irishman is looking to perform well at the Hong Kong Golf Club and eat into Martin Kaymer's lead in the Race to Dubai, with the German just over £320,000 ahead on the European Tour money list.

Europe's number one will be decided at the Dubai World Championship next week but a win for McDowell in Hong Kong will no doubt be a psychological boost to the Ryder Cup star.

McDowell's 65 was his second in succession but with scoring having been particularly low at the Fanling course so far, he believes he is capable of playing even better this weekend.

"I played great again," he said. "The great thing about this golf course is the front nine is a bit tricky and the back nine offers you chances.

"You have to control it on the front nine and have to work out how to play the ninth hole, but apart from that, I know I can pretty much birdie every hole on this golf course and the swing is very much under control."

Rory McIlroy carded a 66 to slip into a share of third alongside Simon Dyson following a double bogey on the last.

Michael Hoey is six strokes adrift after a 65, with fellow Northern Irishman Gareth Maybin (67) one stroke further back.

Irishman Damien McGrane is at five under following a second-round 70, one ahead of Peter Lawrie (66).

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