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08th Apr 2022

Nick Faldo corrects “luck” remark as Shane Lowry makes Masters charge

Patrick McCarry

“Oh no!”

That was the exclamation from Shane Lowry as he bombed his drive off to perilously close to the trees to the left of the fairway on the 495-yard par four 10th hole.

The Clara native was not happy with his positioning for his approach shot to the 10th, nor the brush with overhanging branches that took some vital metres off. Sure enough, he could not reach the green and was left with a tricky chip for his third.

Lowry had other ideas. As the Sky Sports commentators put it – “A tricky position but, for Shane Lowry, there’s no such thing.”

The NBC commentary, over in the United States, was some way wider of the mark. As Lowry made his chip, Amerian viewers were told that the 2019 Open champion was from Portrush [County Antrim]. That was, in fact, where he won the Claret Jug.

That was a mere piffle compared to his reaction to Lowry holing out in brilliant fashion. As Lowry’s approach landed on the slope, rolled serenely and dropped in, the commentator exclaimed, “Oh, wow. The luck of the Irish!”

Luckily – for all concerned – three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo, on co-comms for NBC, was there to save the day. The English golfer, and former Ryder Cup captain said:

“An awful lot of skill, though. He’s got golden hands.”

Shane Lowry on the up and up

That chip-in birdie was one of several back nine highs for Lowry, on Friday at the US Masters.

He birdied 13, too, made a fine scrambling par on 14 and almost chipped in – with delightful backspin – for eagle on the tricky 15th. He birdied that too and, at that stage, was just one off the leader, Scottie Scheffler.

The 35-year-old, who carded an opening round 73, then recovered from a middling approach to the 16th by sneaking in a par through the side-door. It left Lowry at -3 with two holes to play.

There were looks at birdie on 17 and 18 but Lowry finished with pars to card 68, a score that was the lowest of the day until world number one Scheffler went on a birdie blitz, late in the day.

  • Scottie Scheffler -8 [leader]
  • Rory McIlroy +2
  • Seamus Power +4
  • Padraig Harrington +5

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