McDowell added a second round of 74 to his opening 71 at Carton House to finish one over par, 10 shots behind clubhouse leaders Robert Rock and Peter Uihlein and eight adrift of his ‘Miracle at Medinah’ skipper Olazabal. That was one shot outside the predicted cut when he finished and left the former US Open champion hoping for a continuation of the windy conditions this afternoon to avoid a sixth missed cut in 12 appearances in the event. Two of his previous early exits came when Carton House last hosted the tournament in 2005 and 2006, but McDowell at least gave himself a fighting chance with what could be a crucial birdie on the ninth, his final hole. “I was pretty aware that I had to make that putt,” the 33-year-old said. “I desperately want that cut to come back to one over and be here for the weekend. “It’s been a slow couple of days; I’ve played average and putted worse. I see nine under on the leaderboard and I wonder how around this course, it’s phenomenal scoring. I’m shocked how good the scoring is.” American Uihlein, who won his maiden European Tour title in Madeira last month, added a 68 to his opening 67 to set the clubhouse target that was quickly matched by Rock in the group behind. Rock, who lost a play-off to Shane Lowry at Baltray in 2009 but claimed the winner’s cheque for 500,000 euros as Lowry was an amateur at the time, carded four birdies and an eagle from just four feet on the par-five fourth to return a flawless 66. Olazabal completed a 69 to finish seven under. Press Association Graeme McDowell’s wish to tick an Irish Open victory off his golfing ‘bucket list’ turned into a battle simply to make the halfway cut as former Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal rolled back the years.
“There’s a lot of hunger in this team, a lot of desire to do well and the first hour on Monday was exceptional. “We have shown what we can do and what every manager will say now is why not do it every game? “So far it’s a 100 per cent record but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” The City captain believes his Belgium team-mate would give the side an extra edge if they finally strike a deal with Wolfsburg. De Bruyne has been linked with a move to the Etihad this summer as City look to tempt him back to the Barclays Premier League. Kompany has played alongside former Chelsea midfielder De Bruyne for their country and knows first hand what an influence he would be as City look to improve their squad. “Let me put it this way, he’s definitely not going to make the team weaker. He’s a phenomenal player,” he said. “Our squad can become stronger by getting everyone in the right direction. “We had so many players – and I was one of them, especially at the end of last season – who didn’t perform and if they do then it’s like having six or seven new players. Then we do have a stronger squad. “Players like Raheem (Sterling) and (Fabian) Delph, from what I’ve seen, will give us something different.” City host Chelsea on Sunday in an early clash between the title rivals after Monday’s 3-0 win at West Brom, where Kompany scored their third goal. Victory would be an early marker in the title race but Kompany is content to let others take the spotlight after finishing runners-up to Chelsea last season. “We are happy to let all the other ones be the favourites, for us it’s a different position to be in and maybe a good challenge for the team to take on,” said the 29-year-old. Vincent Kompany insists Kevin De Bruyne would be a phenomenal signing for Manchester City. Press Association