Graeme McDowell readily admits Augusta National does not necessarily suit his game but the 2010 US Open Champion is doing his level best to embrace the course and have fun as he seeks a second Major title.
A level par 72 was a solid return on day one for the Northern Irishman, who has missed four cuts in his previous six appearances with a best finish of joint 12th two years ago, as he bounced back from two dropped shots immediately after the turn with birdies on the 13th and 17th.
“This is probably the most comfortable I felt around this golf course,” he said. “It's a challenge. It's going to eat you up. It's going to throw you bad breaks. That's just Augusta. Bad shots are going to catch slopes and go close, and good shots are going to catch slopes and go far away. That's just Augusta. I tried to embrace it and have fun with it this morning and generally I did that well today.”
McDowell was disappointed not to take full advantage of the par fives, playing the long holes in one under despite some impressive play from tee to green as he three putted both the second and 15th, describing his first putt on the latter hole as like putting it “down a marble staircase.”
“But all in all not a bad start,” he said. “Level par is not a bad score to these flag positions today which I thought were tough for day one. We're lucky we had benign conditions. You're not going to get this golf course any more perfect than it was this morning.”
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