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McDowell opts against going to Wentworth and cards a 66 at D&D Invitational

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Graeme McDowell felt he “played the course correctly” as he carded a first round four-under-par 66 at the Dean & Deluca Invitational.

The 37-year-old Northern Irishman decided to miss the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this week in order to remain on the PGA Tour and make his debut at the Colonial Golf and Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

And advice given to him by other players that the course would suit his game appears to have been correct as McDowell hit a bogey-free round, which included four birdies, to sit alongside Scott Brown and Spaniard Jon Rahm, just one shot behind leading American trio Kelly Kraft, J.T. Poston and Derek Fathauer.

The 2010 US Open winner told PGATour.com: “It’s a real classic old-school golf course.

“At the back of your mind, you’re hoping you making right decisions off tees and get the right strategy on holes. I really felt like I played the course correctly today. Nice to get a low score under my belt.”

Ryan Moore and Phil Mickelson sit a further shot back with four others on three under, while Masters champion Sergio Garcia is one under after a 69.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth hit two closing birdies to salvage a level-par first round score as he looks to avoid missing the cut for a third successive tournament.

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