Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Lowry attack pays dividends

Shane Lowry claimed a share of third place on Thursday

An aggressive approach paid off for Ireland's Shane Lowry in the first round of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

Lowry was one over par after nine holes played in the tougher afternoon conditions on Thursday, but birdied five holes on the back nine to complete an opening 68 and claim a share of third place, two shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.

" If you lay back you leave yourself a long way into these greens and it's tough to get it anywhere close," said Lowry, who won the Irish Open while still an amateur in 2009. "If you lay back you're sort of playing for par so I took on the back nine.

"I hit driver on 10, 17 and 18, as well. When you hit a good driver, it kills the hole. On 17 I was between eight and nine iron for my second shot. And down 18 it was just a nice 5-wood onto the green. Over the course of the week you might hit it in the bunkers once or twice, but I'm confident with the way I hit my driver."

Asked about the changing conditions, Lowry added: "Yea h, it was even a different golf course than the one I was watching back at the house on TV. I couldn't believe how firm the greens were playing. The par-three sixth hole was tough to stop the ball on the green.

"When you see six under leading and a good few under par as well I think I was getting a little annoyed on the front nine because of a couple of bogeys and silly mistakes, but I managed to make a few birdies on the back nine."

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