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Lowry's Ryder Cup hopes slipping away after disappointing start in Denmark

Graeme McDowell is also off the pace at The Barclays as both men chase one of Darren Clarke’s wildcard picks.

Shane Lowry is struggling for form.
Shane Lowry is struggling for form.
Image: Peter Byrne

SHANE LOWRY’S LAST-DITCH attempt to impress Europe captain Darren Clarke before he makes his three wildcard picks got off to an inauspicious start at the Made in Denmark event today.

The Offaly man has struggled for consistency this year despite a second place finish in the US Open, just his second top-10 of the year.

Lowry missed out on automatic qualification for the Ryder Cup and as a result decided to play in Denmark this week, rather than at The Barclays event on the PGA Tour, in a bid to impress Clarke, who names his picks on Tuesday.

But the world number 35 recorded a disappointing first round, a four-over 75 this afternoon, meaning a wildcard pick is looking more unlikely for the 29-year-old.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer, England’s Lee Westwood and Scotland’s Russell Knox are believed to be the three front-runners to get the nod from Clarke and join Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Justin Rose, Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan and Matt Fitzpatrick at Hazeltine at the end of next month.

Elsewhere, Tom Lewis looked on course to complete the first 59 in European Tour history but hit three late bogeys to finish with a joint-leading 62 in Denmark.

The Englishman had been on target for a dream 59 finish, but he eventually ended up with a shared first round lead with Thomas Pieters and Joakim Lagergren, at nine-under-par.

Paul Dunne was the best of the Irish in Denmark with a solid three-under 68 leaving him in a tie for 22nd. Gary Hurley is also well placed just one shot further back on two-under.

Cormac Sharvin and Peter Lawrie are on one-over, Michael Hoey two-over and Clarke way off the pace on five-over.

In the US, Patrick Reed and Martin Laird are the early leaders, on five-under-par, in the first round of The Barclays. Graeme McDowell, who is also in the mix for one of Clarke’s wildcard spots, posted a one-over 72.

McIlroy was one of the day’s later starters and is currently one-over through 12 holes.

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