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Eventful last seven holes give McDowell late lift

Northern Irishman claims hole-in-one at 12th

Gulf News

Dubai: Graeme McDowell was the final day's most prominent scorer, rising from tied for 11th to tied for third two shots off at 11 under par 277 (72,69,68,68), thanks to a five under back nine starting from a hole in one on 12. It ended with a comical birdie on the last hole in off the grandstand to within six feet of the cup.

The same 193 yarder on 12, which also lent itself to similar one-shot antics from Sergio Garcia and Juan Manuel Lara earlier in the competition kick started McDowell's late flurry, birdying on 13, 17 and 18. Unfortunately, his quiet front nine saw two bogeys on three and five hamper a birdie on two.

Slow day

McDowell said: "It was a bit of a slow day but then I holed my tee shot on 12 with a seven iron there and that kick-started a nice day really.

"A chip in from the fringe on 13, a few missed opportunities, and then the worst lay-up in the history of lay-ups on the last followed by a thinned gap wedge which ricocheted off the grandstand to six feet and just a regulation birdie.

"So it was an eventful front nine holes and nice to give myself half a sniff. But there was a lot of good players up there with chances.

"Anytime you come back in 31 shots on a Sunday, semi in the mix is always a good day's work. It was certainly an eventful last seven holes with a hole in one and a nice ricocheted off the grandstand at the last.

"I've certainly been playing golf a long time and a couple of things that have never happened to me this week; I've never broken my driver in the course of play like I did Thursday and I've never saw a ball coming off the grandstand to six feet like that."