Even back-to-back, pitch-in eagles could not improve former Open champion Shane Lowry’s mood as he was furious his putting has cost him a chance of winning at St Andrews.
The 35-year-old, winner at Portrush three years ago, was one under par for his round – five under for the tournament – when he holed a 43-yard wedge from the left-hand rough at the ninth.
Proving lightning can strike twice he then sank his short approach from 46 yards, this time from the fairway, at the next hole running parallel in the opposite direction.
At nine under he was in the tournament, as the leader at that stage was Cameron Smith, who had yet to tee off, on 13 under.
However, Lowry bogeyed 12, 15 and 17 and, although he birdied the last for a round of 69, even at seven under he admits his form on the green has done too much damage to his chances.
“It was a very emotional day. Obviously nine and 10 happened and I felt like I was in the tournament – and then did well to play my way out of the tournament from there,” he said.
“Pretty annoyed and pretty p***ed off to be honest.
“I keep telling myself all the time that you want to get yourself to the back nine on a Saturday with an opportunity to do something great and I got myself there today and I didn’t perform. That’s very disappointing.
I'm going to have to go to the putting green this afternoon and try to figure out something for tomorrow because it hasn't been good enough all weekShane Lowry on his troubles on the green
“I’m so disappointed to be honest because I worked so hard, and I work so hard to get myself in those positions.
“I just didn’t putt good enough. It’s not good enough when you put in all those hours every day to give yourself those chances on the back nine of a major on a Saturday and Sunday and you don’t perform.
“I’m going to have to go to the putting green this afternoon and try to figure out something for tomorrow because it hasn’t been good enough all week.
“If I had holed anything all week I would be thereabouts with the leaders.”