Shane Lowry battles like mad on frustrating day at The Open Championship
Chirping from the gallery on the 13th was not welcome, but the former Open champion kept fighting.
While many others were going low on the opening day of The Open Championship, at St Andrew's, Shane Lowry was engaged in a mighty battle just to stay in touch.
The 2019 Open champion would have seen the likes of Cam Young, Ian Poulter and Barclay Brown [an amateur] going low with early rounds, and targeted a similarly good start. Before teeing off, Lowry was in relaxed form:
Shane Lowry right now #TheOpen @TheHomeofGolf pic.twitter.com/pUtXXSRoXG
— Ani (@uptowndunk32) July 14, 2022
Unfortunately for Lowry, it was not to be. He found himself +3 after four holes, after a disastrous double bogey on the second and a bogey on the fourth. A birdie on the fifth, followed by three pars, steadied the ship.
Then came a nice run around the turn. On the 9th, he drove over the back of the green, chipped to within six feet of the hole and sank a birdie putt. Another birdie followed on 10, as he sank a 35-foot putt. Lowry was back to level par.
The 35-year-old would have been hoping to get into red figures when he successfully drove the green at the par-4 12th hole. He needed three putts, though, and walked off with just a par, smacking his putter in a small, understandable show of frustration.
On the next hole, Lowry reached the green in two at the 465-yard 13th hole, but way, way back from the hole. Some of the Old Course greens, at St Andrew's, are massive and the Clara native faced a 133-foot birdie putt.
Having dropped a long-range birdie putt, just a few rounds earlier, Lowry would have been confident of getting the ball close enough. As it happened, though, his putt stopped 26 feet short and he was left with a tricky par putt.
From the galleries, in a distinctly Irish brogue, came a piece of advice that Lowry could have done without:
"You should have chipped it, Shane!"
One player, at least, benefitted from the Lowry birdie putt. US PGA champion Justin Thomas faced a long birdie putt himself, from 115 feet away but on a similar line. Seeing how his playing partner had come up short, he putt some oomph on it and the ball got to within four feet away for a handy par putt.
That 26-foot par putt, for Lowry, was missed and he dropped back to +1 for his round. He was still fighting out there and that was seen on the very next hole as he birdied the par-5 14th to get back to level.
Missed chance on 18
That birdie on 14 gave Shane Lowry a chance to finish in the red, and under par. However, although he had looks at birdie, it was not to be.
As Lowry finished with consecutive pars, Sky Sports' Ewen Murray described his round well when he said the Irishman was 'plugging away'. Lowry had a nine-foot putt for birdie on the last, but missed it to finish level par on 72. He is eight shots back from leader Cameron Young (-8).
Elsewhere, of the early Irish starters, Seamus Power carded a +1 round of 73, which included a double bogey on the 12th but, more positively, a birdie on 18. Rory McIlroy was out on his own, when he finished up on 18, as second with a -6 round of 66.
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