McDowell takes the blame for two-stroke penalty

In contrast to Rory McIlroy’s club-throwing antics, Graeme McDowell showed remarkable grace under pressure as he closed bogey-par-triple bogey at Wentworth.

McDowell’s eight at the last included a two-stroke penalty having sent his ball right into trees, where he found it “hovering in some branches”.

His ball moved as he approached it, breaching Rule 18-2, even though he was some feet away from it. Because he did not replace it he was adjudged by European Tour chief referee John Paramor to have broken Rule 20-7, playing from the wrong place, the penalty superseding that for the original misdemeanour.

McDowell “felt like the ball might have oscillated” and spoke of his concerns but it was not until he had finished his round and tournament officials had been alerted by a spectator and a television viewer that he met Paramor waiting for him in the recorder’s hut before he signed his card.

“It’s my fault,” McDowell said after he had watched the TV footage and signed for a 74. “I probably should have called a referee. That would have saved me one shot, but what are you supposed to do? The whole area was sort of bouncing.”

Meanwhile Gareth Maybin and David Higgins are poised for runs at the Championship leaders thanks to opening, two-under-par rounds of 70.

On one under are Shane Lowry, Damien McGrane and Irish PGA Order of Merit winner Barrie Trainor while Michael Hoey finished with a one-over 73, the same score recorded by Paul McGinley.


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