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Gareth Maybin and Darren Clarke four behind in Wales

Gareth Maybin
Gareth Maybin has qualified for the US Open later this month

Gareth Maybin and Darren Clarke are four shots off the pace at the Wales Open after firing opening rounds of 69.

The Ballyclare man produced a steady round of three birdies and a solitary bogey at this year's Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manon.

Clarke was two under after six but dropped back to one over after 15 before producing three birdies in his final four holes.

Graeme McDowell shot a one-over 72 while Simon Thornton hit a 68.

The County Down-based Thornton is only three shots behind leader Chris Wood.

Damien McGrane joined Maybin on 69, Shane Lowry fired a 70 while Paul McGinley was one over after a 72.

Peter Lawrie joined McGinley on 72 with Gary Murphy on 73.

McDowell went out in one-over-par 36 after a front nine which included two dropped shots.

A birdie at the 11th moved the Rathmore man back to level par but he double-bogeyed the par-three 13th after barely moving his ball from a hazard and failing to get up and down.

He then birdied the 15th but despite a fine approach at the 18th, his birdie putt failed to drop.

Englishman Wood was leading after a 65 which left him one ahead of home player Bradley Dredge and Australian Andrew Dodt.

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see also
McDowell finishes with 74 in PGA
23 May 10 |  Golf
Maybin clinches place in US Open
24 May 10 |  Golf
McDowell shoots a 74 at Sawgrass
09 May 10 |  Golf
McIlroy exits from Players event
07 May 10 |  Golf
McIlroy boosted by Portrush round
04 May 10 |  Golf
McIlroy clinches first PGA title
02 May 10 |  Golf
Quiros triumphs as Foster slumps
02 May 10 |  Golf
McIlroy makes a charge at Quail
01 May 10 |  Golf
Woods makes poor start at Quail
29 Apr 10 |  Golf
Clarke jets back after cut chaos
01 May 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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