Shane Lowry could be consoled by the prospects of some extended family time after failing to deliver at this week’s Irish Open at Galgorm Castle.
The Open Champion’s seven-over par 36-hole tally looks to be a couple shy of the halfway cut mark, despite a raft of players still to finish their second rounds after a frost delay on Friday morning.
Lowry returned an improved two-over par round of 72 on day two but admits that any momentum he had in his bid to make the cut was extinguished when he turned a likely birdie into a bogey at the par-5 tenth.
“The tenth was an absolute killer, a huge momentum killer as well,” he reflected. “I played nicely on the front nine, it was playing so tough out there and it was hard to see where the birdies were going to come from and then I hit it into four feet on ten and three putted.
“That’s just the way it’s been going at the minute. I still fought to the very end. I had a bad tee shot off 13 and hit it into the water and made five there. I made a good birdie at 14 and gave myself a good few chances on the way it.
“I hit a great wedge shot into 17 that pitched right at the hole and spun back 20 feet which was downwind and the greens hadn’t been spinning that much so that was disappointing and obviously that was my last chance because you’re not going to eagle the last into that wind and especially into the dark. I’m disappointed, but it is what it is.”
It was Lowry’s first taste of the Galgorm Castle venue and although he was happy to be on home soil after an extended stay in America, there was no home advantage this week for the Offaly man.
“The unfamiliarity probably cost me, but regardless of whether you’ve seen the greens or seen this course before there are no real excuses for putting how I putted yesterday,” he added.
“I struggled this week, the distance control, how short the ball was going in this cold. I just really struggled. I’m very disappointed to be going home and I hate missing the cut at the Irish Open and I want to be here for the weekend.
“It’s not great for the tournament that myself and Padraig [Harrington] are going home. That’s disappointing for everyone involved but I came up here and gave it my best shot and I did what I did and that’s all I could do.”
Consolation could be found, however, with Lowry now able to venture home to his house in Dublin and catch-up on some much missed family time.
“I’ve no choice, for the next while I’ve got to sit at home. I’ll definitely leave the clubs down for a couple of weeks. But the only option for me to see some of my friends is to play a round of golf with them so maybe that’s what I’m going to have to do,” he smiled.
“I’m definitely taking a little break now with my family. Not that they need me now, but I’ve been away from them for a long time. I’m looking forward to doing all the little, simple things with them like walking Iris down to school, bringing her down to the playground. Just simple things people like doing. It’s been a long stint in America and I’m looking forward to a few weeks off.”
A frustration will no doubt linger a while, however, with Lowry convinced that despite a struggle for results in recent weeks, his winning form is not a million miles away.
“It’s there, even today,” he said. “I said it to Bo on 18, I am so close, yet so far. I actually feel like I played lovely today and I probably should have shot under par but I end up shooting two over.
“I feel like I am not really getting anything from my game and it’s just frustrating. Sometimes you just need a break and hopefully that helps me.
“I have three events left this year, taking a few weeks off now and then try to prepare for Augusta and then put 2020 behind me like I think everyone wants to and move on. Hopefully I can put on a good performance at Houston, Augusta and the RSM and then take a bit of time off around Christmas and get back out there in January and hit the ground running in 2021.”
As for the other Irish yet to complete their second rounds as darkness fell, James Sugrue is at level par, three-over for the day through 16 holes.
Carlow professional Damien McGrane is two-over for his round and the tournament after 13 holes with Jonathan Caldwell also at two-over through 10.
For full reports on the early finishers like Colm Moriarty (+4), Padraig Harrington (+6) and Mark Power (+5) were already published on the site. The projected cut-mark remains at five-over par.
Full scoring HERE