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Stunning finish gets Shane Lowry in the mix at Honda Classic

The Offaly man coped well with difficult scoring conditions in Florida.

Shane Lowry has been in excellent form.
Shane Lowry has been in excellent form.

Updated at 23.00

OFFALY’S SHANE LOWRY found his range late on at the Honda Classic today to sit two shots off the clubhouse lead on three-under-par in Florida.

Lowry produced a stunning final two holes to join George McNeill and Jimmy Walker, both of the US, and Swede David Lingmerth in a tie for fifth after they carded 67 in their opening rounds.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia leads the way on his own on five-under-par with American trio; Rickie Fowler, William McGirt and Michael Thompson just one shot in arrears.

The Irishman was level-par after 16 holes, following four birdies and four bogeys, but a birdie on the par-three 17th and an eagle on the par-five 18th brought a beaming smile to his face as he headed towards the clubhouse.

His approach shot to the 18th was particularly memorable; he hit a tough, 240-yard, three-iron shot to just three feet from the pin, leaving himself a simple putt for eagle.

In an interview with PGA Tour Radio after the round, Lowry grinned as he described his final approach shot of his round.

“The wind was howling out of the left,” Lowry said. “It was just a hard three iron and I tried to not let it go right.

“I was just trying to get it up somewhere on the left side of the green and thankfully it came off straight at the flag and released down to about three feet. It was a nice way to finish.”

When asked by interviewer Doug Bell what he said to his caddie at the time, Lowry chuckled as he recalled: “he said, ‘knock that in’, and I said ‘I’d be happy with the two-putt’”.

I was just happy to shoot under-par out there, it’s so tough. It’s very tough mentally, every shot requires a good shot, you don’t get away with any bad shots out there.

“I am very happy with where I am. I’ve got a long way to go so hopefully I can get a good night’s sleep tonight and get out there tomorrow afternoon and do something.”

When questioned on his current form, Lowry conceded that he’s playing the best golf of his life.

“I feel like I am good enough to compete week in, week out,” he said.

“I’ve done okay the start of the year, I’m pretty happy with my first three tournaments and obviously very happy with my round today and looking forward not only to the weekend, but the whole season.

“I’m playing over here a little bit more and going back to Europe and playing. I have a very exciting schedule this year and I’m looking forward to a lot of things.”

Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell are well down the field after disappointing opening rounds.

McDowell is six shots of the lead on one-over-par, McIlroy is on two-over after a 72, while his playing partner Harrington is a shot further back on three-over.

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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