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Lowry shoots 68 to move up to eighth at the Houston Open

Offaly man is five shots off the lead with Padraig Harrington tied in 24th and Graeme McDowell placed 34th after day 3 of the tournament.

Image: Eric Christian Smith

SHANE LOWRY COULD hardly be timing his run into form any better, not just ahead of the final round of this weekend’s Houston Open but also with regard to Augusta next week.

Today he shot a 68, spoiling his card with a one over par 36 on the back nine after he played with consistency and verve on the front nine, birdying three of the outward nine, including the par three second and par three ninth.

With five birdies from par threes so far at this tournament – plus a 100 per cent record for sand saves – it is clear that Lowry’s short game is operating nicely. Tee to green, he is also faring pretty well, hitting 39 of his 54 greens in regulation.

Tied now for eighth – he started the day in 14th position – the British Open champion is five shots behind the leader, Sam Burns, who shot a 68 today, after his impressive 65 yesterday. Jason Day and Carlos Ortiz are second, on eight under.

Padraig Harrington had a frustrating day, dropping seven places to 28th after a 71. 

Things had been looking better for the three-times major winner, after he nailed three birdies on the outward nine, but then his game fell apart for a period, as he bogeyed 10, 11 and 13. A birdie on 16 tidied his scorecard up to some degree but the fact he was one under at the turn, and in a position to pounce, will irritate this perfectionist.

One shot behind Harrington, on one over, is Graeme McDowell who shot a one under round of 69 today. Accordingly, he moved up 12 places on the scorecard and is currently tied for 34th. 

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Garry Doyle

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