McDowell gave his Gleneagles goal a huge kick in posting a second round three under par 68 to move to four under par and just three shots behind the leading trio of Jim Furyk (69), Kevin Chappell (67) and Cameron Todd (69) in the last qualifying event for the PGA Tour based Europeans.
The soon-to-be new father arrived at the Ridgewood Country Club course right on the bubble in ninth place of those who will qualify automatically at the close next Sunday night August 31 of the Italian Open.
Enhancing McDowell’s quest to avoid a first ‘wildcard’ pick was 10th placed Luke Donald missing the New Jersey cut with scores of 71 and 74. However McDowell’s only concern is the efforts in the Czech Open of Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher who, after missing the cut in his past two events Stateside, is tied in third place and just two shots from the lead.
The Scot is also just two spots in 11th place outside of the automatic nine and would leap-frog both Donald and McDowell should he win tomorrow .
“I was having breakfast this morning and looking on TV and seeing what Jamie (Donaldson) and Stephen Gallacher are doing, and it was pretty hard not to ignore,” said McDowell.
Donaldson remained on course to secure his place in the European Ryder Cup team with a 69 in the second round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters. The Welshman held the overnight lead after shooting a 66 on the first day and he maintained a one-shot advantage at the top of the leaderboard on nine under at the halfway point of the tournament.
Donaldson currently holds the eighth of nine automatic places for the team in Gleneagles due to his position on the world points list, but he is the only person who can still qualify via the European list as well.
To do that he needs a combined winning haul of just under €30,000 in the Czech Republic and in Italy next week, with a win in Prague netting the victor €166,660.