Solid start for McDowell at Irish Open

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Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm on the 1st fairway

By Richard O'Reilly

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell posted a respectable 67 in the opening round of the Irish Open today, leaving him at -5.

The clubhouse lead is currently shared by Oliver Fisher and Matthew Southgate, who sit at -8 heading into tomorrow's second round.

Southgate seems to favour the Irish Open, finishing a more than respectable 4th last year at the K Club.  Today's round puts him well in contention and he should be there or thereabouts come Sunday.

McDowell said he was happy with his round, adding that playing in front of home fans doesn't ramp up the pressure put upon his shoulders.

His score of 67 was matched by former US Open champion Justin Rose.

The biggest crowd of the day was, reserved for none other than Northern Ireland's own Rory McIlroy.  The world number 3 teed off shortly after 1pm, alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Spanish sensation Jon Rahm.

Shane Lowry by no means had a dreadful round.  The Irishman returned to the clubhouse after scoring a respectable -4 round of 68, while the ever-popular Miguel Jimenez posted the same score.

McIlroy's group is expected to finish up sometime after 6pm.

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