McDowell third, but warned of slow play after TV interview

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McDowell has not won on the European Tour since 2014 Saudi International second round leaderboard (Royal Greens G&CC, Saudi Arabia) -10: V Perez (Fra); -9: G Green (Mal); -8: G McDowell (NI); -7: R Pratore (Ita) Selected others: -6: R Fisher (Eng); -5: D Johnson (USA), H Stenson (Swe); -4: P Mickelson (USA), S Lowry (Ire)

Graeme McDowell is third at the center of the Saudi International, despite his rhythm being "upset" by a warning for slow play that he picked up after a mid do

The Northern Irishman, 40, played a two-under 68 to sit on eight under, two shots behind leader Victor Perez.

He took the & # 39; bad time & # 39; after his TV interview and a repeated violation at the weekend, he would see a shot.

"It disturbed my rhythm for a few holes," said the ex-Ryder Cup player.

"Tim Barter is interviewing there for Sky Sports and he asked me to do an interview on the fairway, where I said & # 39; yes & # 39; to.

"I took a few extra seconds and he [official] gave me a monitoring penalty, which officially puts me on the clock at that time.

"It disturbed my rhythm for a few holes. I tried to play too fast. I was disappointed that he did not give me a little more room for errors in the situation, but hey … we have to play faster , so simple. "

The new rules for slow play of the European Tour came into force in 2020 and allow players to play a shot for 40 seconds or 50 seconds when they play first in their group.

McDowell, looking for a first European Tour win since 2014, birded the hole after his warning and parried the last three – all of whom he had birdied when he shot 64 in the first round in Saudi Arabia.

Frenchman Perez birdied three of the last four for a round of 65 to take the lead. The 27-year-old won his first European Tour title at the Alfred Dunhill Links championship in September and has only been out of the top 20 once since.

World number 41 is linked to his former university of roommate Gavin Green from New Mexico on Saturday.

Malaysia & # 39; s Green, who shared the lead after round one with McDowell, is now second on nine while pursuing a first win in the European Tour.

England Ross Fisher is bound for the fifth to six bottom, while American world number five Dustin Johnson is bound for the eighth to five bottom.

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