Shane Lowry superbly birdied his final hole to muscle his way into the weekend rounds of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
Lowry posted a gutsy level par 70 to remain at six-over par and although that was projected outside the weekend mark as Lowry headed for the clubhouse, the scoring soon swung in his favour in the afternoon.
Still, when cameras caught up with the Clara golfer post-round, he knew he would be in for an anxious afternoon wait:
“I sort of thought I needed to get to five-over to make the cut and then in coming to the last, I hit a great drive down the ninth and sort of had a look at the scoreboard and what the weather is doing, and I thought it may go to six-over, and I might have a chance,” said Lowry, who has now made two halfway cuts in successive majors as the reigning Open Champion.
“I’d be happy to make it go from where it was because I played lovely today. I actually played okay yesterday as well, but I bogeyed 18 and the first today, which is my 9th and 10th.
“To be honest, the wind was out of my sails then, and I thought that was it, done. It’s so hard to make three birdies out there. It’s getting really hard out there. It’s quite windy, and the greens are firming up.
“So, I’ll have a long afternoon sitting back, watching TV, praying for guys to make bogeys. That’s where I’m at now.”
Lowry’s second round, in his second major as the reigning Open Champion, was an overall mix of three birdies and just as many bogeys, with his driving a little more accurate in hitting eight of the 14 fairways and two more than a day earlier.
And while Lowry managed to post a second round that was six shots fewer than day one, he remarked: “Thursday was a lot easier than I expected. The course was fine, and I just didn’t drive on the fairway.
“I was very disappointed in myself yesterday because I played great Tuesday, Wednesday, and very happy where my game was at. I showed that today. Like I pretty much played like that today. 70 in those conditions today is actually pretty good.
“Though you can’t really do anything about what happened yesterday. You just kind of need to move on and hopefully get a shot at the weekend, and I can chip away at these numbers.
“All the positives were today, but then I tripped myself up at the start of the week. Not the start of the week, but yesterday, I went in, and I started my usual when I started playing bad. I start trying too hard and start getting pretty annoyed out there. I struggle.
“To be honest, look, not that I’m making excuses, I’ve just had a long stint away from home, and I’m just ready to get home at this stage and ready to get back to my family.
“As I said, hopefully, I get two more days, but if not, I’ll get a flight tonight or tomorrow.”
There’ll be no flight home. Lowry finds himself in a tie for 49th at plus-six, 10 shots back of Patrick Reed’s lead of minus-four, but in a US Open, anything can happen.
Full scoring HERE