G-Mac leads in Mexico after 63

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, trying to salvage what he can from a dismal year, carded an 8-under-par 63 to take a one-stroke lead over Derek Fathauer midway through the OHL Classic at Mayakoba at Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

McDowell, who in 2015 has fallen 70 spots to No. 85 in the World Golf Rankings, started on the back nine and birdied seven of eight holes through No. 5, making his only bogey of the day at No. 1.

“I’m seeing the greens well, keeping this real simple,” said G-Mac, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, whose only top-10 finish this year was a tie for ninth in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February. “I came into these two weeks with a pretty relaxed attitude. The last couple days, so far, the attitude’s been good. I’ve just been out there trying to play golf and enjoy myself.

“I went through a spell in my career where winning started to become a little easier. I’ve had a spell here the last 18 months where making cuts has been hard and getting in contention has been difficult. I feel like I’ve got enough resources to pull on going into a weekend like this one. The keys are not getting too far ahead of myself and staying in the present. This is not the last-chance saloon this weekend.”

Fathauer, whose only pro victory came in the 2014 Web.com Tour Championship, followed a bogey-free 65 with a 66 that included four birdies in six holes through No. 8 while finishing on the front nine.

Harold Varner III birdied four of his last five holes to shoot 62, the low round of the day, and was two shots back in a tie for third with Si Woo Kim of South Korea, who had a bogey-free 64.

Patrick Rodgers of Stanford shot 66 and was three strokes behind in a tie for fifth with first-round leader Justin Leonard (68), Jason Bohn (63), Brice Garnett (66) and Shawn Stefani (68), the latter two overcoming double bogey 6s on the 14th hole.

Spencer Levin of Elk Grove carded a bogey-free 66 and was another shot back in a tie for 10th with Johnson Wagner (67), Scott Brown (67) and Michael Thompson (68).

Defending champion Charley Hoffman of Las Vegas and UNLV came in at 71-70–141 and missed the cut by one stroke.

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