Graeme McDowell in contention at Valero Texas Open

Jordan Spieth has found some well needed form ahead of the upcoming Masters

Graeme McDowell during the second round of the 2019 Valero Texas Open. Photograph: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Graeme McDowell during the second round of the 2019 Valero Texas Open. Photograph: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

 

Back to back rounds of 69 have left Graeme McDowell going into the weekend in contention after Friday’s second round at the Valero Texas Open.

McDowell teed off on the back nine, where an eagle on the 14th followed a bogey and a birdie. He added two more birdies before a second bogey on the seventh hole to leave him six under par overall and six shots off leader Si Woo Kim.

McDowell arrived in Texas on the back of a first win since 2015 in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship and he needs a win if he is to make it into the field for next week’s first Major of the year at Augusta Nationa.

Kim extended his lead on Friday to four shots with the help of an ace at the par-three 16th as well as birdies at the fifth, eighth, 12th and 14th in his bogey-free round of 66. He has opened up a healthy lead over six players who are tied for second, including Jordan Spieth and Ricky Fowler. Two shots further back is McDowell.

South Korea’s Kim, 23, held a narrow one-shot lead overnight following his first-round 66 at TPC San Antonio.

American pair Harold Varner III and Adam Schenk leapt up the leaderboard after they both carded rounds of 66 to join former world number one Spieth, Fowler, Canada’s Corey Conners and South Korean Kyoung-Hoon Lee in second place.

Spieth matched his first-round score of 68 with the help of an eagle and five birdies, but he also bogeyed the first, 10th and 12th holes.

Fowler, at one stage tied for the lead, has also produced consecutive rounds of 68, with an eagle and five birdies checked by three bogeys of his own, two of those at the 15th and 16th.

Fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington is one under par overall after a second round 71 which included a double bogey on the par 5 seventh hole. Seamus Power’s second round 77 leaves him two over par and he missed the one under par cut.

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