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McDowell planning to go back to basics; GOLF.

GRAEME McDowell admitted he needs to "clear his mind" after his bid for a third successive Alstom Open de France title came to an ignominious early end.

McDowell was one of 42 players unable to complete their opening rounds on schedule at Le Golf National after thunderstorms on Thursday resulted in a delay of almost two and a half hours.

The former US Open champion had just one hole remaining when play resumed at 0730 local time on Friday and made par on the 18th to complete an opening 72 and lie just four shots off the lead.

However, after a short break McDowell was back out on the course which will stage the 2018 Ryder Cup and slumped to a second round of 78, his worst score in 32 rounds at the venue.

McDowell, whose sole top-10 finish on the European Tour this season came in the Dubai Desert Classic on February 1, said: "I struggled to get on the fairway mainly and, as firm and as fast as this course is, if you're not hitting the fairway you have a bit of a problem getting close to the flag.

"It's just a bad first nine both days.

"I rescued it coming in last night but it was a fast turnaround from a 9pm finish last night to an early start this morning and I just didn't come out of the blocks this morning at all.

"It's disappointing, this course has been so good to me over the years, just not to be this year.

"It's a work in progress, I'll keep grinding and it's a big summer ahead."

McDowell, who missed the cut on eight over par after a round containing two double bogeys, three bogeys and no birdies, added: "I have a lot of technique in my head to be honest and I have to strip that out - I have to go back to basics and try to clear the mind.

McDowell's Ryder Cup partner Victor Dubuisson shared the halfway lead with Germany's Martin Kaymer and Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello on four under par.

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Graeme McDowell

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 4, 2015
Words:350
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