McDowell just two shots off second with Gooch in a class of his own

Fatiha Betscher

Graeme McDowell of Cleeks GC (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Graeme McDowell knows he’s well in the mix to grab a career-best LIV Golf finish heading to the final round of the LIV Adelaide event.

McDowell is among six players, five of whom (including himself) are major champions, lying in a share of 13th place at eight-under par after 36-holes in continuing glorious scoring conditions on the host The Grange course.

He finds himself just two shots shy of second place shared by six players on 10-under including past Australian Open champ, Abraham Ancer (69, 65), Pat Perez (68, 66), Charl Schwartzel (68, 66), Brooks Koepka (68, 66), Louis Oosthuizen (68, 66) and Cameron Tringale (69, 65).


Five players, among them crowd favourites Cam Smith (69, 66) and fellow Open Champion Phil Mickelson (70, 65), are at nine-under.

McDowell (67, 69) is joined on eight-under by Henrik Stenson (68, 68), Sergio Garcia (68, 68), Patrick Reed (69, 67), Dustin Johnson (71, 65) and Peter Uihlein (68, 68).

Though they’re all chasing tearaway American Talor Gooch, who continues to be in a class all on his own with the American moving ten shots clear of his rivals thanks to pair of stunning 62s

Gooch, 31, again thrilled another jam-packed ‘Down Under’ crowd with some high-class golf with his second 62, and in a rare world golfing feat, matching his own The Grange course record of a day earlier.

Gooch’s back-to-back 62s would also be a record low for 36-holes had this week been an Australian PGA Tour event.

As well, and by way of comparison, fellow American Justin Thomas owns the PGA Tour record for the lowest 36-holes, recording rounds of 59 and 64 for a 17-under tally after two days of the 2017 Sony Open but on a par-70 lay-out.

Gooch capped his round with a 10th hole eagle ‘3’ that he sandwiched between birdies at nine and 11, and along with six other birdies.

“Everything is just going my way,” said Gooch. “I’m hitting the ball where I want it to go. A couple times where I missed some shots I ended up in a decent spot, and yeah, it’s just a lot of people have asked the last 24 hours, how did you do it, give me the secret basically, and it’s like, if I had the secret, we would write that book and everyone would know it.

“No, the game is feeling really good right now, and hopefully we can keep it going. We’ve got a big day for the Range Goats tomorrow, so we need to keep the pressure down”.

McDowell’s second round was a mix of four birdies and a 15th hole bogey for his score of a three-under 69 and a 36-hole eight-under tally.

G-Mac is contesting his 11th event since the inaugural LIV tournament last June but with a best finish of a T12th, thanks to a closing 66, in the ground-breaking first event on the outskirts of London.

His best LIV finish this new and full season was a T13th in the opening 2023 at Mayakoba, and where he was a former PGA Tour winner.

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