Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Lowry left all at sea

Shane Lowry

One who has dived into the ocean on a hot summer’s day will readily understand the short, sharp, shock to Shane Lowry’s system at the European Open this week.

Inspired by his sensational victory at the Irish Open, Lowry’s hopes were high as he took the plunge into professional golf last Thursday.

Instead, the 22-year-old from Clara would have a relatively quick dip at The London Club, missing the cut by six strokes on seven-over after following up his first round 78 with a marginally more satisfying 73.

As Lowry made his weary way home last night, his place in the Irish spotlight was taken by Peter Lawrie. The Dubliner soared to within two shots of the tournament lead on six under with a rock-steady 71 yesterday afternoon as a menacing golf course showed its teeth in a blustery wind.

Having tested the water on Tour and endured a rip-tide of media interest over the past 12 days, Lowry should be far more comfortable when he slips back into the deep end at next week’s Welsh Open.

It’ll probably take a while longer for all the stardust he kicked-up at Baltray to settle but Lowry is “looking forward to being just another player out there in a couple of week’s time. It’ll be great just to get on with it.”

Frustratingly, Lowry’s spent much of his first two days as a Tour professional scrabbling for his game, spending too much time entangled in deep rough and sinking too few putts to have any chance of making it to the weekend.

Off the course, however, Lowry performed the duties of his new profession remarkably well.

Few golfers are asked to endure lengthy questioning from the media after shooting six-over par one day and again after missing the cut the next.

Lowry did both, living up so well to the role of Irish Open Champion that, dare one say it, several of golf’s established stars could borrow a leaf out of his book, not least John Daly, who left without a word as his five-tournament sojourn in Europe came to an end on three-over.

Joint-leaders Jeev Milkha Singh and Michael Lorenzo-Vera are currently eight under.

Rory McIlroy, on two-under, hoped a couple of early birdies yesterday might spark another Saturday 65 to match his effort last week at Wentworth and help stave-off exhaustion and a touch of back-ache after four tournaments on the trot.

Like McIlroy, Graeme McDowell shot 73.

The Portrush man eased through on one-under, while Paul McGinley made it on the mark at one-over despite a disappointing 75.

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