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McDowell hits top form in Texas with seven-birdie blitz

 

By Phil Casey

Graeme McDowell got off to a promising start in Texas, firing a four under par opening round of 68 to sit tied for fourth spot in the Valero Open in San Antonio.

The Ulsterman had seven birdies as he made a welcome return to form, although three bogeys means he trails overnight leader Branden Grace of South Africa by two shots.

Meanwhile, Tiger Woods has announced he has undergone successful back surgery.

The 41-year-old released a statement yesterday confirming he had an operation to alleviate "ongoing pain in his back and leg".

The 14-time major winner announced: "The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain.

"When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long."

Woods has not played competitively since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February due to back spasms. It is believed he could be out for another six months.

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