Graeme McDowell opened with a blemish-free four-under par round of 68 to sit four shots off the lead after day one of The CJ Cup in South Korea.
In the first event of a three-tournament PGA Tour swing through Asia, the 40-year old took his sound form from the Italian Open to Jeju where he posted four birdies in a tidy round of golf at Nine Bridges.
Just inside the top-10 in a tie for 9th heading into day two, the Northern Irishman trails home favourite, Byeong Hun An whose eight-under par round of 64 leads Joaquin Niemann by one.
Jason Day’s efforts to impress International team captain Ernie Els for a spot at the Presidents Cup started well with the Australian enjoying a timely return to form after firing an opening day 66.
Day is hoping Els will chose him as a captain’s pick for the International team against the Tiger Woods-captained U.S. side in December at Royal Melbourne.
“It is certainly disappointing not to make the team on my own merits. But it is a reminder that nothing is given to you in this game,” Day said ahead of his first round.
“I certainly want to be on the team and believe I can be an asset to the Internationals. Being in my home country certainly gives me an edge and I’ve had some success on the sand belt (courses) and Royal Melbourne in the past.”
After denying any rivalry exists between himself and Rory McIlroy, defending champion Brooks Koepka shot a 69 on Thursday with an eagle at the last for a three-under total.
There are 78 players in the no-cut, limited-field event.
Full scoring HERE
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