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Graeme McDowell to make the cut at Workday Charity Open on return to action after caddie's positive coronavirus test

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Graeme McDowell is back on the course with caddie Ken Comboy, who tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago.

Graeme McDowell is back on the course with caddie Ken Comboy, who tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago.

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Graeme McDowell is back on the course with caddie Ken Comboy, who tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago.

Graeme McDowell is set to make his first cut since the PGA Tour’s restart after returning from a self-imposed two-week lay-off.

The Portrush star failed to match his four under par first round 68 on a rather changeable Friday at the at the Workday Charity Open but did enough to make it through to the weekend.

McDowell’s round was interrupted by a suspension in play that lasted over an hour due to a severe storm passing through and, shortly after he finished out, the tournament was once again called to a halt.

At that stage, McDowell was in a tie for 19th but only two shots inside the cutline on a tightly-packed leaderboard, with American Collin Morikawa opening up a six shot lead on 13 under par.

It’s a marked improvement for McDowell, who had previously missed both cuts in the two tournaments he has played since the PGA Tour's return last month.

He then opted to withdraw from the Travelers Championship and sat out last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic after his caddie Ken Comboy tested positive for the coronavirus.

McDowell missed just three greens in his four under par round on Thursday at Muirfield Village but couldn’t keep that accuracy going on day two, hitting none of his first seven greens in regulation.

His impressive run of up-and-down par saves, which featured a 25 foot putt rattled home on the third, was spoiled on the par four sixth when his eight foot par putt drifted past.

McDowell finally looked to be finding some rhythm when he hit four of the next five greens, successfully holing out for birdie at the 11th to get back to even par for the day and four under for the week but his momentum was halted on the 13th with that one hour, 15 minute suspension in play .

When he returned, it was with a bogey five as another errant drive and approach was punished.

He bounced back in perfect fashion, with back-to-back birdies thanks to two successful putts from over 20 feet, but that joy was shortlived as McDowell gave both shots back over a disappointing final three holes, summing up a topsy-turvy day.

Overnight leader Morikawa picked up right where he had left off on Thursday, adding a six under par 66 to his opening round 65.

The American went close to his second PGA Tour title last month when he was beaten in a play-off by Daniel Berger at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Behind him in second place was 44-year-old Ian Poulter, looking for his fourth PGA Tour victory after adding a second round 69 to his Thursday 68 to reach seven under par.

“I've felt refreshed,” Poulter said of his return to action following lockdown. “I feel fitter than I have in a number of years. It actually gave us an opportunity to do a bit more work than obviously what we're used to, and that's nice. I feel good about my game and I'm holing a few putts.”

Meanwhile, Open champion Shane Lowry was three under par for the week, level for the day through two, when the second suspension in play was called.

Muirfield Village is hosting the first of back-to-back tour events with next week's Memorial, featuring both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, also due to be played on the Ohio course.

Belfast Telegraph