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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Brilliant finish helps Lowry hit opening round 68 on PGA Tour and McDowell pulls out of Irish Open

Lowry is competing in the Safeway Open on the PGA Tour this week while Seamus Power finished with a 75.

Lowry hit a 68 today (file photo).
Lowry hit a 68 today (file photo).
Image: William Howard

SHANE LOWRY PRODUCED a brilliant finish to his opening round at the Safeway Open in California with a four-under par 68 in the latest event on the PGA Tour on the evening that Graeme McDowell announced he will not play at this month’s Irish Open.

The 2019 Open champion hit a 68 with Waterford’s Seamus Power suffering contrasting fortunes with his 75 as Scotland’s Russell Knox is leading the way after shooting a 63.

Lowry began his round on the 10th hole and had dropped one shot by the time he grabbed his first birdie of the day on the 18th. He turned at level par before producing some sparkling play to birdie the 3rd and 4th, and then mounted a powerful finish by birdies on his last two holes for a back nine of 32. Lowry is tied for 10th with Knox leading the way, two ahead of second-placed Brendan Steele.

On the first day at the Silverado Resort in Napa, Power birdied his first before carding a front nine of 36 and then did manage to birdie the 10th. The damage was done for him in a run of four consecutive bogeys between the 12th and 15th holes. He is tied for 101st and is 12 shots off the front-runner.

Lowry earlier this week had confirmed that he will bid for another Irish Open win when he tees it up at Galgorm Castle Golf Club later this month but McDowell won’t be joining him.

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graeme-mcdowell Graeme McDowell pictured in action at the Open Championship last year. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

McDowell tonight explained that he had ‘made the very difficult decision’ not to travel and compete

In a statement released on his Instagram account, he outlined his reasoning and cited ‘that due to the necessary changes made to the event, travel and scheduling issues’, he is choosing not to play.

The tournament clashes with the Corales Punta Cana Resort and Club Championship, a title McDowell is defending after he triumphed in 2019.

Under normal circumstances defending this event would not take priority over played my home Open, but the unprecedented circumstances make this a better option for me at this time.

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My statement regards 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

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