Shane Lowry enters the weekend atop the Open Championship leaderboard after firing a second successive 67 at Royal Portrush.
Lowry was all smiles post-round after electrifying the swarming galleries with a near complete performance on day two. Lowry burst out of the traps, ticking off his first three holes in birdie before adding another at the reachable par-5 fifth after a typically astute pitch.
He added another on the eighth before becoming the first man to reach double-digits for the tournament when holing a raking putt on 10 – the Clara golfer threatening to launch into orbit from 10-under par.
However, he couldn’t take advantage of the reachable par-5 12th or make a good look at birdie on the par-3 13th before dropping his first shot of the day on 14. After a long wait on the tee, Lowry pulled his tee-shot left but managed to gouge his ball to the green.
A difficult two putt proved just that as Lowry took three to get in and having ground out pars on 15, 16 and 17, he looked perfectly placed in the centre of the fairway at the last to add one more and take the outright lead.
It wasn’t to be as Lowry fatted his second before failing to get up and down to drop to minus-eight, but all in all, a pair of 67’s was nothing to be sniffed at and booked the Offaly favourite an afternoon tee-time alongside co-leader and big-hitting American, JB Holmes tomorrow.
“It’s nice,” said a smiling Lowry post-round. “If they had offered it to me at the start of the week, I would have taken it. I’m really happy to be where I am. I really, really enjoyed today. There’s not too many days like that on the golf course. It’s hard to describe.”
Lowry looked a man intent on enjoying himself throughout his round this afternoon and it’s an attitude he’s unsurprisingly intending to take into the weekend. Leading Majors isn’t new to Lowry having looked for all the world a winner at the US Open in Oakmont in 2016.
Although he’s under no illusions as to how much work is left to do, Lowry is realistic too, accepting his mind might wander to thoughts of a certain Claret Jug tonight. When he wakes up from his dreams, he’ll still have 36-holes in the way of achieving them.
“I’m obviously going to be thinking about it tonight,” added Lowry. “There’s no point in shying away from it. I’m in a great position. But, my God, have we got a long way to go. There’s two rounds of golf on this golf course against the best field in the world.
“I shot 67 today. I need to go out and shoot the best score I can tomorrow, and hopefully it leaves me in a decent position going into Sunday.”
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