Graeme McDowell endured a frustrating finish but still made it home in even par to get his Valspar Championship bid underway at Palm Harbour in Florida.
The former US Open champion was looking good at three-under par through 13 bogey-free holes until a dropped shot at the par-5 sixth, his 14th seemed to knock him off his stride.McDowell carded two more bogeys on the way in to undo his earlier good work but home in 71, he finds himself in a share of 46th and five shots off the lead heading into today’s second round.
The news wasn’t saw good for Seamus Power who entered the event with renewed optimism after a top-35 finish at Sawgrass last week.
A birdie at the first looked set to continue that momentum but Power gave it back at the third and added four more in a disappointing three-over par 75 that leaves him in a share of 100th place and with work to do to make the weekend cut.
At the course famed for its ‘snake pit’ in Tampa, two relative unknowns packed the most vicious bite to lead the way at five-under par. American Joel Dahmen is ‘the man’ alongside Canadian Sepp Straka to head the field after day one 67s.
Our own oracle’s long-odds pre-tournament selection, Russell Knox, is stalking the leaders closely at four-under par.
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