"Pretty annoyed and pretty pissed off, to be honest" - Shane Lowry knows Open chance has gone 4 months ago

"Pretty annoyed and pretty pissed off, to be honest" - Shane Lowry knows Open chance has gone

"This game is hard sometimes."

Shane Lowry rarely looked close enough at this Open Championship. He game was good, but it was far from where he wanted it to be.

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On Friday night, at St Andrew's, Shane Lowry and Justin Thomas were on the 18th tee and both men seemed accepting of where they were sitting.

Lowry was -3 while the American, who won the US PGA earlier this year, was -2. Thomas piped a great approach that ran up close to the green, despite the change in wind. The TV microphones picked up the following, light-hearted exchange.

LOWRY [to Thomas]: Most improved!

THOMAS [to Lowry]: Shut the f*** up!

Both men shared a laugh as the TV presenters made the appropriate apologies. Thomas would end up with par but Lowry got a birdie to go -4. He would start Saturday nine shots behind leader Cameron Smith.

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Both Thomas and Lowry appeared to accept their fate. They could go low on the Saturday and Sunday, of course, but there were too many quality players ahead of them with plenty of shots to play with.

For eight holes of Shane Lowry's third round, it looked as though that acceptance of his fate, as an Open 'also ran', was weighing on his shoulders. Going +3 after four holes of his first round and a double bogey on 16, in his second round. Those thoughts would not be far from his mind. He could have been five shots closer, at least.

Then, on the ninth hole, Lowry chipped in for a superb eagle. He was up to -7.

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One hole later, he was -9 and within four strokes of the lead:

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'That's very disappointing' - Shane Lowry

That double eagle jolt shot Shane Lowry up to -9. At that stage, he was tied for fifth with only the leaders, who had not teed off yet, ahead of him.

The Clara native had eight holes left to go as low as he could. Another birdie or two and he could set a challenging clubhouse lead. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Bogeys followed on 12, 15 and 17. In the end, he needed a birdie on the 18th to card a round in the 60s.

A 69 gives him an outside chance, being generous, but he starts Sunday no better off than he started Saturday. Following his round, Lowry spoke with reporters about a frustrating back nine, albeit book-ended by an eagle and birdie.

"It was a very emotional day. I felt like through the middle of the front nine I was just going along okay, not doing anything great. Obviously 9 and 10 happened and I felt like I was in the tournament. And did well to play my way out of the tournament from there.

"Pretty annoyed and pretty pissed off, to be honest. And I keep telling myself and you keep saying all the time that you want to get yourself to the back nine on a Saturday with an opportunity to do something great. And I got myself there today and I didn't perform. So that's very disappointing."

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Asked if all he could do was clear his head and try to go low again, on Sunday, Lowry replied, "Yeah, I do.

"I'm playing good enough. My game has been good enough all week. To be honest, I think it's a credit to my game the way I fought to be top 20 going into Sunday around here. So, yeah, I'm fairly bullish about if I do figure something out, I could shoot a score tomorrow. But I'm trying my best. Like, I don't have the answer. I don't have the answer.

"If I did, I wouldn't need to go to the putting green now. But it's just hard. This game is hard sometimes."


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