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Graeme McDowell tied for the lead after round two at Italian Open

Graeme McDowell is on form in Italy.
Graeme McDowell is on form in Italy.

Graeme McDowell is in a tie for the lead after his second round at the Italian Open.

The 38 year old, who didn't earn a top 10 finish in a tour singles event in the 16/17 season, has been buoyed by his 12th place at last week's BMW PGA Championship and is well in contention to end a winless streak going back to 2014 on the European Tour.

McDowell shot a five-under-par 66 in round two at Gardagolf GC, a repeat of his opening round score. The Portrush man's second round was bogey-free, picking up shots at the first, ninth and then three in a four hole stretch in the middle of the back nine.

He is tied with Rafa Cabrera-Bello, whose second round 67 added to an opening 65. The Spaniard confirmed his place at this year's Irish Open earlier this week.

However, overnight leaders Robert Rock and Laurie Canter are just two shots off the pace before beginning their second rounds this afternoon.

McDowell is now ranked 195th in the world, having risen 44 places after his positive week at Wentworth.

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