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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
McDowell unware of record
Portstewart golfer Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell's last putt shaved the hole
Graeme McDowell was surprised to hear that he missed a chance to break the famous St Andrews course record.

The Ulsterman shot 10 birdies in a round of 62 to take the lead in the Dunhill Links Championship, but saw his final birdie putt shave the hole.

"I wasn't aware of the record but the home of golf - what a place to come up with your career low," he said.

"I can hardly think of one shot I didn't hit in the right place. It was like playing chess."

The 25-year-old mirrored Tiger Woods ' winning round in 2000 when he avoided all the bunkers en route to clinching the Open Championship.

"My aim right from the start was to miss out the bunkers, just like Tiger did," said McDowell, who carded a 62 in the final round of the BMW International Open in Munich in August.

McDowell, whose playing partner was Noreen McManus, wife of financier JP McManus, appears to be making up for missing out on Ryder Cup selection with some fine end-of-season golf.

''I made some good putts today and to shoot 10-under, on what was a fairly benign day, I just can't complain,'' said McDowell who fired eight birdies in 10 holes from the sixth.

''I just got on to a good roll. But you can get on to a good run here around the turn. That's where you make your score here.

I really enjoyed it out there and felt at ease
Graeme McDowell
''But it wasn't easy going out by any stretch of the imagination.

''But once I made the back nine, I knew it was fairly benign and was able to make a good score.

''Overall, the tournament is much more relaxed and not as intense as a regular European Tour event.

''I'd a great partner in Noreen and I really enjoyed it out there and felt at ease. I guess some guys react to that, and some don't.

''We are now well up in the team competition as well, so I hope the good run continues.''




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