McDowell leaked a shot right at the 14th hole of the National course and hit a male spectator who collapsed in agony.
“There’s nothing good when you hit a spectator and you hear the words ‘the ball has hit a spectator and they’re down’, so that’s not a very good feeling,” he said.
“I am surprised that more people don’t get hurt when you’ve got big crowds like we had today and everyone is moving about, and you’ve got golf balls moving very fast into crowds.”
McDowell brought a smile to the face of the spectator when handing him an autographed glove with the message – ‘Je suis Desole’ (I’m sorry).
Unfortunately, McDowell bogeyed the hole after earlier also dropping a shot at the 13th en route to a one-under-par 70 that left him trailing six strokes behind American Kevin Stadler.
McDowell finished two strokes ahead of fellow US Open winner Martin Kaymer while Frenchman and Ryder Cup rookie Victor Dubuisson, the third member of the group, continued to struggle with hay fever, shooting a five-over-par 76.
Also struggling with two double bogeys in three holes was Pádraig Harrington who signed for a 74.
And Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley’s indifferent season continued when a shoulder injury forced him out just prior to tee off.
McGinley advised Tour officials he was struggling with a bout of bursitis in his left shoulder.
The European Ryder Cup captain was in some discomfort during Wednesday’s long five-hour Pro-Am when he was joined on the 2018 Ryder Cup host venue by long-time friend Dermot Desmond, who was playing off a 12 handicap.
“I’m absolutely shattered,” he said after the Pro-Am.
In fact, McGinley’s retirement continues a disappointing season for the Dubliner having missed the halfway cut in his last three events.
McGinley’s Ryder Cup duties continued this week when he joined Harrington and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello travelling to Bordeaux at the request of French Ryder Cup tournament director Pascal Grizot for a photo shoot with a wine sponsor.
And Cabrera-Bello had a good excuse when spotted at a traffic light seated topless in the rear seat of his courtesy car that was making its way to the course.
“I have a new sponsor this week and it’s a self-adhesive logo so I was just sewing the corners down so it would stay on,” he explained.