Open Champion, Shane Lowry and fellow Major winner, Graeme McDowell will have much to talk about after being grouped together for the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Lowry gave the Kingsbarns Links fans something to cheer about in grabbing seven birdies in a six-under par 66 to move from one-over at the start of his round to head to St. Andrews at five-under par.
It left the Royal Portrush winning hero just inside the top-80 and nine adrift of England-born rookie Matthew Jordan who went out in 29 on the Old Course in a round of 64 for a one-shot lead at 14-under par.
Lowry capped his round of seven birdies, including gains at the four par-5s with just one bogey but admits it could’ve been so much more.
“There was a lot more red numbers on my card today and it was much better – I felt I could have shot 10-under,” said Lowry.
“I don’t think there was a bad shot out there and while I didn’t hole anything of any significant length, my overall game was strong, and with it being so calm early on, the course played easy and we could not have had Kingsbarns any easier.
“I now need two more days like today heading to St. Andrews but then I know I can shoot five-under over each day of the weekend, and that for me would be a decent tournament.”
However, before Lowry joins GMac on the Old Course, he has an appointment in front of the TV to watch the 8.15am commencing Rugby World Cup encounter when Ireland tackle Japan.
And Dunhill organisers have done Lowry a favour with he and McDowell not teeing-off until 11.12am.
McDowell also found his game after a ‘rusty’ first round 73 at Carnoustie to shoot a 70 at Kingsbarns for a one-under par total.
GMac’s only disappointment was bogeying two of his closing three holes but there were encouraging signs for the former US Open champ.
“I was very rusty the first nine holes on Thursday but overall today it was very solid and while I made a bad bogey on 16 and then three-putted 18, this is just my second round after having five weeks off,” he said.
“The good aspect about my game is that I have driven it great the last two days and while still a tiny bit rusty, the game is good.
“I am playing with Shane on the Old Course tomorrow so very much looking forward to playing alongside The Open champ.”
Rory McIlroy heads the field of five Irish racing to five-under par after just five holes at Kingsbarns Links but could only complete his next 13 holes in one-under in a score of 66 for an eight-under par tally.
Double Dunhill Links winning Padraig Harrington is a shot further back on seven-under after playing a similar round as McIlroy at Kingsbarns in being three-under par through seven holes but then completing his last 11 holes in one-under in his score of 68.
And Paul Dunne is still no closer to ending a horror run in posting an Old Course 75 to slump to near the tail of the field at three-over par.
Full scoring HERE
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