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04th Mar 2024

Shane Lowry fails to fire on final day at $9m Cognizant Classic

Paddy Morgan

Shane Lowry

Not to be for the Clara native.

Due to a three and a half hour weather delay, the 2024 Cognizant Classic was extended to a Monday finish. Shane Lowry shot rounds of 67, 67 and 66 to tie the lead with Austin Eckroat and David Skinns on -13 after 54 holes, teeing up what most of us expected to be an absorbing finish.

South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyan started his final round seven shots behind the leaders but got off to a fantastic start and was -5 for his first five holes. Van Rooyan’s incredible start continued as he moved to within one stroke of the lead, before that main pack were even hitting their final day stride. The lowest he got was -14, closing out with seven straight pars to sign off for a 63. It was a decent clubhouse bench-mark.

Lowry played in the final group with England’s David Skinns. The 2019 Open champion failed to take advantage of the par-five third hole and had to settle for three pars in a row. Lowry and Skinns played the first five holes in a combined three over.

Eckroat went into the lead, on -15, after two incredible birdies at the fourth and fifth holes. The American played the front nine in -2, shooting 33. Jake Knapp, last week’s Mexico Open champion, started his final round on -8 but carded three birdies in four holes, around the turn, to get within one shot of Eckroat. He gave a shot back after a three-putt on 15, and would finish on -13. Min Woo Lee started the final round on -10, had a bright start but a double bogey on the fifth hole halted his early momentum. He would eventually finish on -13.

Lowry hit an extremely poor second shot at the eighth hole, which came to rest in a greenside bunker. The Offaly native dropped back to -11 under after a bogey there, but carded his first birdie of the round, two holes later, to stay in touch. Eckroat, meanwhile, gave the chasing pack encouragement as he missed his birdie putt at the par-five 10th. He was still doing well, at -15, but was not yet out of sight.

As if to emphasise that point, Lee moved to within one shot of the lead after a birdie at the 12th, but it was not going well for Lowry.

Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry finished in a tie for fourth place. (Credit: Getty)

Shane Lowry earns $344,300 for T4 finish

Shane Lowry was guilty of a wayward tee shot at 11, finding a penalty area and eventually carding a bogey. He recovered well to birdie 12 and 14, getting back to par for the day.

Austin Eckroat stretched his lead at the top of leaderboard to two shots after a birdie at 13. It was enough to go -17 under – a three-shot lead – with five holes to play. Skinns and Lowry were still fighting away in that lead group and Eckroat gave them brief hope when he dropped his first shot – failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker at 14.

Lowry’s challenge came to an end, though, as he played ‘The Bear Trap’ in +1. Both Lowry and Skinns struggled in the final group as they finished tied fourth on -13 under. Lowry could console himself with earning $344,300 and claiming a finish inside the top five. KH Lee and Cameron Young also finished tied fourth.

Eckroat played ‘The Bear Trap’ stretch of holes in -1 and a par at 18 was good enough to win Cognizant Classic on -17. The 25-year-old received a winners check of $1.6 million. The total prize purse was $9 million.

Andrew Novak, Alex Noren, Keith Mitchell, Billy Horschel, Martin Laird and Peter Malnati all finished tied ninth on -12. Rory McIlroy started his final round on -7 and shot a front nine of level par. He shot a final round of 68 and finished tied 21st, on -10.

At the DP World Tour SDC Championship, Tom McKibbin finished tied 12th with a four-round score of -6. He ended up six shots behind winner Jordan Gumberg. Leona Maguire shot a final round of 67 to finish tied 34th at HSBC Women’s World Championship, which was won by Hannah Green.


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