Lowry singles out Townsend commentary for 17th tee distraction

Bernie McGuire

Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Joint Open leader Shane Lowry singled out BBC’s 5 Live commentator, Jay Townsend as the cause for being distracted on the 17th tee late in his second round at The Open at Royal Portrush.

Lowry was all set to launch his drive down the par-4 17th when Townsend’s American accent on a nearby TV screen caught his attention on his downswing.

“There’s a little tented village with a TV screen about 80 yards from the tee box, and I could hear Jay Townsend commenting on my shot,” said Lowry.


“Just on my backswing he said, ‘he’s got 295 to the top of the hill’. Yeah, that put me off. But I got lucky, I got a great break and managed to make par.”

Townsend is a former little-known European Tour player who contested 217 tournaments between 1985 and 1998 to record just one second place finish, but has now taken on an ‘know-all’ role commentating for ‘The Beeb’.

Thankfully for Townsend, Lowry was leading golf’s oldest major at the time having moved to 9-under par after a brilliant opening 10-hole display of six birdies, including racing to three-under par for his round thanks to a hat-trick of gains to commence his day’s play.

The Clara golfer dropped a shot at 14 ahead of falling back into a tie for top spot at eight-under par with American JB Holmes (68) and one clear of former European No. 1’s, Tommy Fleetwood (67) and Lee Westwood (67).

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