As Graeme McDowell was preparing to tee off in the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, his manager Colin Morrissey said with a sly smile, “It’s going to be a good day.” Oh yeah? I replied, G-Mac is going low today? He nodded.
So far, Colin’s prognosis is right on. McDowell is off to a ripping start. He didn’t waste any time, posting a birdie on the first hole. He parred the second and then birdied four straight to get to 17-under. McDowell capped off the first nine with another birdie to shoot 30.
Team G-Mac wants the wind — which is coming an “off-shore” pattern today — to keep blowing. As we know, McDowell loves blustery conditions, whereas others in the field may struggle.
Going into the final round, McDowell started six strokes back of co-leaders Jonathan Byrd, Steve Stricker and Robert Garrigus, so he still has some ground to make up.
Stricker has missed a few short putts, causing him to drop a shot and Garrigus is one-under for the day. Byrd has gained a healthy lead — he’s three-under through 7, 21-under for the tournament. As McDowell goes into the final nine, he is three back.
I’m rushing out for a nice hike and walk some holes (actually, it’s more like a mountain) with the group. Come on wind, blow harder!
(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)