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G-Mac's hopes of making FedEx play-offs hang by thread

 

By Phil Casey

Graeme McDowell faces a real battle to reach the FedEx Cup play-offs after a one-over-par 71 left him 10 shots off the pace at the Wyndham Championship. Only the top 125 go forward to the play-offs after this week's event and the Portrush man is 131st in the standings.

McDowell's round left him sharing 76th place and needing a low round today to make the cut.

He could need a top-35 finish to get into the top 125 places.

McDowell failed to qualify for last month's Open and his disappointing season continued at last week's US PGA when he missed the cut after a late invitation.

Shane Lowry, who lies 145th in the standings and needs to finish in the top 10 to progress, shot an encouraging three-under-par 67 which left him sharing 21st spot midway through the first round.

Meanwhile, three of the top PGA Ireland professionals will compete for a big prize fund at the Walled City of Derry Pro Am.

Damien McGrane, David Higgins and Simon Thornton, the top three players in this season's Order of Merit, will tee off at the tournament on August 26 and 27.

For the first time ever, both City of Derry Golf Club and Foyle International Golf Centre will be getting in on the action on both days as the pros compete for the €15,000 prize pot and Michael Doherty Trophy, named after the former City of Derry pro, who passed away in December.

With 66 teams and a total of 264 golfers set to play, not only is it the biggest Pro-Am tournament in Northern Ireland but also the only two-course Pro-Am tournament in the region.

Michael McCumiskey, secretary of the PGA in Ireland, said: "This will attract the top Irish PGA pros from all over Ireland."

There will also be a junior event on Friday, August 25 at Foyle Golf Academy. The event is open to young people aged 6-14. Call 028 7135 3366 to book.

Visit Derry, in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council, are sponsoring the tournament.

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