McDowell had delivered the biggest surprise in Wednesday's
opening round when he rallied from four down after seven holes, and
three down after 15, to beat American Gary Woodland one up after 19
Twenty-four hours later, he battled past Japan's Hideki Matsuyama
one up, having rallied from two down after 14 holes in a match where
he never led until his clinching par at the 18th.
"Why do it the easy way when the hard way will do?" McDowell smiled
as he spoke to reporters after booking his place in the third round
at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona.
"I just got off to a slow start again, probably less so today.
Hideki opened up three-three, so I was two down walking off the
"I was quite proud of myself when I got a half on three, so I was
only two down after three, as opposed to three down. But I made a
bad swing on six, hit it in the right bunker there."
Three down after six holes, McDowell then upped a few gears and
recorded five birdies over the closing stretch as he overcame a
solid display by the 21-year-old Japanese.
"I played really clean golf," McDowell said of his rallying effort.
"I tried to go out there today and execute my game plan and try not
to give him any room, try not to make any mistakes.
"And he kind of played the same kind of golf back. He played very,
very well. I made big putts on 15 and 16, especially on 16, that was
a massive putt to give me the opportunity.
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"I feel very fortunate again today. I've certainly expended all my
energy and emotions the last couple of days. But thankfully it's
early in the season and I've plenty left in the tank."
McDowell now faces a mouth-watering showdown with American Hunter
Mahan, the 2012 champion at Dove Mountain, who was beaten by the
Northern Irishman in the decisive singles match at the 2010 Ryder
"There's a decent chance he might be out for a shade of revenge
tomorrow, who knows?" grinned McDowell, who won his only major title
at the 2010 U.S. Open. "It's been a long time, a lot of water under
the bridge since 2010.
"He's a quality player. He's got a great record around this golf
course and he's going to be a tough nut to crack.
"But I certainly feel I've had a pretty good workout the last couple
of days, and I should be in good shape going into tomorrow."
McDowell secured the winning Ryder Cup point for Europe at Celtic
Manor in Wales four years ago, beating Mahan 3&1 in the final
With the overall score level at 13 1/2-13 1/2, McDowell sank a
curling birdie putt from 12 feet on the 16th green to go two up on
Mahan before securing the win with a conceded par at the 17th.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles;
editing by John
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