Published Friday, 20 June 2014
Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland lines-up a putt. (© Getty)
The Portrush man is sitting at 8 under, sharing second place with Robert Rock and Romain Wattel.
McDowell shot a five under par round at Fota Island resort in Co Cork in the second day of the competition.
Starting from the tenth, McDowell began with three pars before notching up his first birdie - only to drop a shot on the next hole.
However, a birdie followed on the fifteenth and the 34-year-old went on to finish strongly with a run of three birdies between holes two and four, and another on the sixth.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy could only manage an erratic 69 to miss the cut by a shot on one over.
The Co Down man needed to finish birdie-eagle to qualify for the weekend and although he duly holed from long range on the 17th and hit a brilliant escape from the trees on the last, he was unable to chip in from the front of the green.
"It's very frustrating," said the former world number one, who won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last month.
"To make six birdies and an eagle and shoot just two under means there were a lot of mistakes and wasteful shots.
"To miss the cut for the second year in a row is not a nice position to be in. I don't know what else to say, it's very disappointing."
He added: "I'm proud of myself how I fought out there and didn't give up and tried for the last shot.
"I gave myself a chance to try to make the cut with the big birdie putt on 17, but just wasn't meant to be.
"I just need to tighten it all up and become a lot more consistent, make the bad shots a little bit better and not be as wasteful around the greens.
"If I can do that, I know my game is right there. I've got a couple weeks off now to work on my game a little bit, play some links golf and get ready for the Scottish Open and the Open."
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