Shane Lowry speaks with incredible class and grace after disastrous end to PGA round
Shane Lowry was flying at the PGA Championship. Absolutely flying.
The Offaly golfer was on course for a stunning second round score and was within touching distance of the leaders when lightning forced the field off the Quail Hollow course.
Having gone close to winning his first Major at the 2016 US Open, Lowry was poised to make another charge.
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All that came to a shuddering halt on a closing stretch dubbed 'The Green Mile'. After being distracted on the 17th tee, Lowry pitched his approach to the par three green into the scrubby rough.
His return pitch skidded across the green and went to the adjacent lake and Lowry was forced to take a drop shot. He eventually carded a triple bogey '6'.
From right in the mix, he ended up signing for a round of 69 and is tied 23 heading into the weekend.
It can't have been easy for Lowry to face the media after such a deflating close to his round but, not for the first time, he fronted up and spoke remarkably well. After first informing the BBC of the score he carded, Lowry dismissed any notion that a marshall calling for "Quiet" on his swing had forced his costly mistake. He commented:
"It was a marshal but, listen, I don’t like blaming people. I was over it the first time and he told the crowd - all 12 people that were beside the tee - to stay still.
"So, I backed off and hit … an unbelievably bad shot. A bad shot would have been just right of the green where Pablo (Larrazabal) was able to putt up. It would have been easy.
"I had an 8-iron in my hands on the 17th and I was licking my chops at the thoughts of giver me another birdie. I just got distracted on 17 tee and made a bad swing and hit a bad shot and ended-up making a triple bogey."
Lowry's attitude to adversity is something that many of us could do with taking note of. He continued:
"I do have to look at the positives as the golf I played was more than good enough to win any tournament.
"I am in a nice position going into the weekend and I know Kevin is leading at 8-under but this golf course is going to play pretty difficult over the weekend so I will just go out and keep doing what I have been doing.
"I am very proud of myself as I wasn’t feeling all that great standing on the 18th tee but I hit two unbelievable shots into the last, and into about 10 feet, and while it was disappointing not to hole that birdie on the last… fairly disappointed now but I will be fine."
The 30-year-old just needs to get off to a similarly good start, hope Kisner or co-leader Hideki Matsuyama does not shoot low and he could still be in with a chance come Sunday.