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Lowry leads Irish challenge as Rickie Fowler sets the early pace at PGA Championship

Fowler comes in hot as he bids for his maiden Major victory.

Lowry: four shots off the lead.
Lowry: four shots off the lead.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

A BIRDIE ON the 17th saw Shane Lowry finish as the best of the Irish as the final Major of the golf season, the PGA Championship, got underway at Bellerive Country Club.

Lowry’s opening round of 69 included three birdies and two bogeys, leaving him on one-under par, four shots off the early pace set by Rickie Fowler on five-under.

No fewer than seven players, including Jason Day and Ian Poulter, are lined up behind Fowler in a tie for second on three-under par.

Rory McIlroy reeled off nine straight pars on the front nine as he carded a level par 70 to sit five shots off the lead alongside Tiger Woods.

Pádraig Harrington is on +1 while Paul Dunne is two shots further back on +3.

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Niall Kelly

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