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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 15 July, 2020

Opening 67 gives Shane Lowry early clubhouse lead at Portrush

The Offaly man shares an early lead with Dylan Fritelli, while Graeme McDowell is also hitting form.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

SHANE LOWRY LEADS Irish hopes at the Open Championship after a brilliant round of 67 leaves him as the early pace-setter atop the leaderboard.

Four-under approaching the final green, Lowry found the bunker with his second shot, but expertly plotted his way up and down to close at -4.

The Offaly man carded five birdies in a terrific opening round, and even his sole bogey of the day, at the 11th, carried a silver lining as it was flanked by birdies on nine, 10 and 12.

That run left Lowry with an outright lead at the time, but Webb Simpson began his back nine with three birdies in four holes to temporarily take over top spot. However, the American slipped back again with bogeys on 17 and 18.

Rory McIlroy (+3 through 15) is struggling to come back after his nightmare opener, Graeme McDowell went bogey-free through 14 holes to reach -3, but unfortunately fell away with bogeys on 15 and 17 before a disastrous triple-bogey at the 18th to leave him with a +2 round of 73.

Along with Simpson, Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre and South Africa’s Dylan Fritelli flirted with the four-under mark and shared the lead, but slipped back to -3 at the finish.

 You can keep up to date with the leaderboard here.

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Sean Farrell

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