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Shane Lowry within striking distance after impressive start at Wentworth

The Offaly man is just two shots behind the leader at the lucrative BMW PGA Championship.

Shane Lowry in action at Wentworth today.
Shane Lowry in action at Wentworth today.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

OFFALY’S SHANE LOWRY got his BMW PGA Championship off to an excellent start today with a four-under first round 68 at Wentworth.

The 30-year-old is chasing a first tournament win in nearly two years and he finds himself within two shots of the leader after the opening 18 holes.

Sweden’s Jonas Carlsson is out in front on his own on six-under, with Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and Italy’s Francesco Molinari one shot behind.

Lowry is joined by another eight players on four-under, a group that includes Ryder Cup stars Thomas Pieters of Belgium and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

Playing alongside Ross Fisher and Thorbjorn Olesen, Lowry did most of his damage on the back nine, turning for home at level-par following birdies at the fifth and sixth, and bogeys at the eighth and ninth.

Lowry hit a rich vein of form early on the back nine, carding successive birdies on the ninth, 10th and 11th holes.

The 2016 US Open runner-up proceeded to register five successive pars before closing out with a birdie on the par-five 18th.

The European Tour flagship event has a €7 million purse, with the winner set to pocket more than €800,000 on Sunday.

There are five other Irish golfers in action at Wentworth, although Lowry is currently the only one within striking distance of the leader.

Paul Dunne is the next best situated Irishman on one-under, followed by Pádraig Harrington (playing his first tournament since undergoing neck surgery) and Darren Clarke (both +1), Damien McGrane (+2) and Neil O’Briain (+9).

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