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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 22 February, 2020

Disappointment for Shane Lowry at Phoenix Open, as Danny Lee leads

The Irish golfer struggled on the back nine this evening

Ireland's Shane Lowry pictured at the Phoenix Open golf tournament.
Ireland's Shane Lowry pictured at the Phoenix Open golf tournament.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

HAVING BEEN TIED for the lead at one point, it’s been a disappointing day for Shane Lowry at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The Offaly native’s chances of triumphing are now all but over.

Having struggled on the back nine, Lowry finished Saturday night on six under par, seven shots off leader Danny Lee of New Zealand in joint-10th position.

Lee nabbed six birdies in a four-under par 67 on Saturday to build a three-stroke lead in the US PGA Tour’s $6.5 million event.

Lee, seeking to add a second US tour title to the Greenbrier Classic trophy he captured last year, had a 13-under par total of 200 at TPC Scottsdale, where the PGA Tour said the crowd of 201,003 set a record for single day attendance on the PGA Tour.

With one day to go, the tournament famed for its raucous crowds is 11,334 spectators away from breaking the all-time attendance record for a single tour event — which not surprisingly was set in Phoenix last year.

World number four Rickie Fowler and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama shared second on 203.

Matsuyama thrust himself into contention with a three-under par 68. His five birdies included a chip-in at the 14th.

His last birdie of the day, at the par-five 15th, moved him to 10-under for the tournament, which is where Fowler also finished up after a one-under par 70.

It was a further stroke back to Bryce Molder and Boo Weekley on 204. Molder climbed the leaderboard with a 64 while Weekley fired a 65.

Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson, a three-time champion in Phoenix, also carded a 65 for 205.

Lee, a 25-year-old who was born in South Korea but moved to New Zealand as a youngster, started the day sharing second with Fowler, one shot behind Korean-American James Hahn.

He got off to a hot start with birdies at the second, third and fourth. He drained a long birdie putt at eight to take a two-stroke lead that he held through the turn, dropping his first shot of the day at the 11th to fall back into a tie with Hahn.

After saving par from a bunker at the 12th — the same bunker from which Fowler and Hahn both bogeyed — Lee tapped in for birdie at 13 after narrowly missing an eagle attempt.

Lee gave a stroke back with a bogey at the 15th, where he was in the water off the tee, but he added one last birdie at 17.

Hahn’s challenge came unstuck with his bogey at 12, followed by back-to-back double-bogeys at 13 and 14.

Leading third-round scores on Saturday in the US PGA Tour Phoenix Open (USA unless noted, par-71):

200 – Danny Lee (NZL) 67-66-67

203 – Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 65-70-68, Rickie Fowler 65-68-70

204 – Bryce Molder 67-73-64, Boo Weekley 71-68-65

205 – Phil Mickelson 69-71-65

206 – John Huh 69-70-67, Harris English 68-67-71, James Hahn 67-65-74

207 – Matt Every 70-69-68, Kevin Na 68-71-68, Webb Simpson 68-71-68, Gary Woodland 67-72-68, Charles Howell 70-69-68, Blayne Barber 68-71-68, Shane Lowry (IRL) 65-70-72

208 – J.B. Holmes 73-67-68, Ryan Moore 68-71-69, Zach Johnson 73-66-69, Jon Curran 69-69-70, Colt Knost 69-69-70, Chad Campbell 68-68-72

209 – Robert Streb 70-70-69, Patrick Rodgers 71-69-69, Chris Kirk 72-67-70, Brett Stegmaier 68-71-70, Kyle Stanley 69-70-70, Brendan Steele 72-67-70, Jeff Overton 71-66-72, William McGirt 69-67-73

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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