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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 17:32 UK

McDowell four off Turnberry pace

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell dropped two shots at the short 16th

Graeme McDowell shot an opening two-under-par 68 at the Open which left him four shots behind leader Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain at Turnberry.

McDowell was three under after five and while he then hit two bogeys, he was out in 33 after a birdie at the ninth.

A double bogey on 16 dropped him back to one under but he birdied 17.

Rory McIlroy finished with a one-under 69 following a few adventures while Darren Clarke battled to shoot a 71 after suffering a double bogey on 10.

McIlroy moved to two under after birdies at the second and seventh but had to hole a 12-footer for a double bogey at the eighth after being forced to take a penalty drop.

A birdie at the ninth moved him to one under again but another penalty drop at the 10th after a bad drive saw him dropping a shot.

He regained that stroke with a gain on the 13th and an immediate concession at the 14th was followed by a superb birdie at the short 16th.

Clarke was out in level-par 35 after a bogey at three was countered by a birdie on seven but his six at the 10th was followed by another dropped shot on 12 before he birdied the 14th and 17th.

Padraig Harrington, bidding to become the first player since Peter Thomson in 1956 to win three years in a row, had an opening 69

Paul McGinley had a 71, David Higgins a 73 and Damien McGrane is near the foot of the field after hitting a disappointing 78.

Like Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood, McDowell found the greenside burn at the 16th but he regrouped to birdie the 17th and then superbly parred the last after finding trouble off the tee.

Watson and Curtis fired 65s which left them a shot ahead of John Senden, Steve Stricker, Camilo Villegas, Stewart Cink and Matthew Goggin, who were also in the clubhouse.

Former champions Mark Calcavecchia and Mark O'Meara matched Vijay Singh and Boo Weekley in firing 67s while McDowell was joined on 68 by England's Anthony Wall, Sean O'Hair, Anders Hansen, Lee Westwood, Ryo Ishikawa, David Howell and DJ Trahan.

Championship favourite Tiger Woods shot an opening 71 after an indifferent opening day while Sergio Garcia had to be content with a 70 after also coming to grief at the 16th.

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see also
The Open - day one as it happened
16 Jul 09 |  Golf
Woods targeting 15th major title
15 Jul 09 |  Golf
Legend Watson shines at Turnberry
16 Jul 09 |  Golf

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