"He's just so Boston!" - Shane Lowry targets Friday charge after tough US Open start
"Probably one of the worse scores I could have shot."
Following his opening round of 72 [+2] at the US Open, Shane Lowry was tough on himself. He was -1 at the turn but bogeyed three holes on the way home to sit six shots behind leader Adam Hadwin.
You had to feel for the guy, at The Country Club in Brookline, on Thursday. He had been put in a playing group with LIV Golf defectors Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen. Both men have major-winning pedigree but have opted to go where the money is and step away from the PGA Tour.
Mickelson and Oosthuizen were both awful in their first rounds. 'Lefty' shot a 78 while the South African was only one shot better. Lowry found it hard to get any momentum as he had to wait for both men to hack, sway and grind about the course, trying not to blow themselves completely out of cut contention on day one.
And then there was the extra attention of crowds and media focus, due to Mickelson's leading role in getting so many players to jump ship to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. TV cameras often focused on Mickelson standing on greens as both Lowry and Oosthuizen made their putts.
Ahead of his round, Lowry had laid out, very well, why he would not be joining the LIV Golf exodus, which already includes his Thursday playing partners, Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Bryson DeChambeau, Lee Westwood, and more.
"I've been lucky enough to give my family a life that I never thought was possible from playing a game of golf - I'm happy with what I've got there."
Shane Lowry brilliantly explains why he won't be signing up to the LIV Golf tour. pic.twitter.com/otveEX56N6
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) June 17, 2022
'He's just so Boston!'
Heading into the tournament, Shane Lowry was down as a dark-horse option to win the US Open. His recent form has seen him move up to 24th in the world - his highest placing in two years - and the only thing his 2022 is missing is a trophy to hold aloft.
The Offaly native's strong chipping game, and his ability to take on tough courses, saw him backed by several of the No Laying Up podcast. Two ESPN writers also picked him in their betting preview of the tournament, and he was talked up by Joe House on the Bill Simmons Podcast.
"I really like Shane Lowry for this... big, fat Irishman. He'll be beloved here [in Boston], get a tonne of support. He's been playing the best, most consistent golf of his career. Tied for third at The Masters."
The reference to Lowry's physique was meant in jest, but it was a bit much. It is not the first time Lowry's weight has been brought up, either.
Saying he would put some money on Lowry, at 30/1, Bill Simmons joked, "He's just so Boston. He's the most Boston, probably, out of any golfer we have in this."
All set for tomorrow 👀 ☘️ #USOpen pic.twitter.com/SAwayXZ8uo
— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) June 15, 2022
The winds picked up a bit when Lowry, one of the late starters, was out on the course but he will have been disappointed that he could not get around in at least even par.
Lowry, Mickelson and Oosthuizen are out early in the second round and all three will be hoping to make improvements from their opening tallies.
"I will go out and try and break 70 [on Friday]," Lowry told Philip Reid. "If I can break par, then I will be back in it because I don’t know what it is going to take to win this tournament, but it is not going to be much, scoring wise."
Of the other local golfers in the field, Seamus Power is +1 while Rory McIlroy is -3 and one shot off the lead.