Bidding to get back into the world’s Top 50 to boost his Ryder Cup qualifying chances after slipping from 15th to 85th in the world, the 36-year old former US Open winner made nine birdies in an eight under par 63 to lead on 12 under at El Camaleon Golf Club, Playa del Carmen.
McDowell began the tournament by driving out of bounds and taking double bogey six but posted a 67 that included a run of five birdies in a row to trail by two overnight before following up with a superb 63.
He bogeyed the first again yesterday when it was his 10th, but having gone out in 31 with four back nine birdies, he came back from the dropped shot with some sensational putting.
After rolling in four birdies from the second to the fifth, he picked up another at the seventh to post his lowest round since a nine under par, second round 63 en route to second place in the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. McDowell, who would rise to around 60th in the world with a win in Mexico, was the early clubhouse leader by two from South Korea’s Si Woo Kim (64).