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Graeme McDowell takes the lead...
Golf

Graeme McDowell takes the lead at the Saudi International

Cathal Mullaney
Cathal Mullaney

03:17 1 Feb 2020

Graeme McDowell will go into the final day of the Saudi International in the lead after carding a four-under-par round of 66 today.

The Portrush golfer carded four back-nine birdies to push himself onto 12-under-par, one shot ahead of his former Ryder Cup partner Victor Dubuisson ahead of tomorrow's final round.

After failing to catch fire on the front nine with a single birdie offsetting a single bogey, McDowell played superbly on the back nine with three birdies on the trot on 12, 13 and 14 - the birdies on 12 and 13 came via putts from off the green.

The Ulsterman finished his round with a birdie 4 on the par-five 18th to ensure he will have the lead heading into tomorrow's final round.

"Sometimes when the putter is cold, you get a bunch in a bundle," McDowell said after his round.

"The putter has been a little ice-cold the last two rounds but I got it heated back up on the back nine today and I'm going to have to putt well tomorrow to have a chance.

"Conditions were very tough today so I'm very pleased with that back nine because I really feel the back nine has played very difficult this week. So, to sneak a few birdies in there on the way in was very pleasing."

Tomorrow's final round is given added intrigue given that McDowell and Dubuisson - who is one shot behind on 11-under - were Ryder Cup partners in 2014 at Gleneagles.

"We shared a car up to the course this morning and I was chatting with him."

"I always look out for him great experiences with him in 2014 at Gleneagles. He's such a great guy he hasn't had the best form in the last few years so I'm really, really happy to see him at the top of the leaderboard and looking forward to being with him tomorrow."

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