Shane Lowry got to play three rounds alongside his ‘golfing idol’ on route to securing a career best finish at the Masters in what was a memorable week for the Open Champion.
Lowry drove out the Augusta National front gates and headed east to Thursday’s starting RSM Classic at Sea Island, Georgia in signing off for a 73 and a four-under par total for his best Augusta finish of a T25th having shared 39th place in 2016. Lowry headed into the final round of just a fifth Masters at five-under par having got better with each round after earlier scores of 74, 69 and 68.
For a third time in the week, Lowry found himself grouped with defending Augusta champion, Tiger Woods, with Scottie Scheffler making-up the three-ball. Lowry was level par for his opening seven holes, and managed one-putt par saves at three and six before he dropped a shot at the par-5 eighth hole.
The highlight of the round for the Clara golfer arrived at the 12th where he found the green some 14-foot behind the flag, though it was a long wait before holing out for birdie after Woods put not one, but three balls into the water at Golden Bell. Woods began ringing bells of a different kind, racking-up a seven-over par 10, and slumping from a respectable three-under par to four-over. It was Woods’ highest score on any hole in his 90 rounds over 23 Masters and also his highest in all of his PGA Tour counting events, however Lowry wasn’t about to be critical of his golfing idol’s misfortune.
“I’m not going to stand here and talk about it… like he hit a couple of balls in the water and hit a really tricky bunker shot there,” said Lowry.
“This is what Augusta is when the wind is up like this. It’s a pity we’re not out there for the full day in this because it would have been a nice chance for some people to shoot good scores and move really far up the leaderboards. Yeah, look, it happened, and what a finish. Tiger seemed to hit every shot stone dead then for the rest of the round.”
Indeed, anyone who doubted Wood’s resolve was soon corrected as the 15-time Major winner birdied five of his closing six holes, including the last four, in a round of 76 to get back to one-under par.
Lowry ended his Masters in posting five two-putt pars from the 13th to 17th holes and looked to make it six in succession but took three putts from 22-feet in a 72nd hole bogey for his round of 73 for a four-under tally. The 33-year old can single out the shortest club in his bag in providing the biggest Augusta headache registering 36 putts on day one, 30 on day two, 31 on day three and then 32 day over the last day to average 32.25 putt per round.
His frustration was no better mirrored when he missed a five-foot for birdie on 17 and then just stood there scratching the back of his cap, as if to say: ‘How did that miss?’
“I’m pretty happy with my week but I’m disappointed how I finished,” said Lowry. “I actually gave myself a lot of chances today, especially the last few holes. Like I probably should have birdied 15, should have birdied 17, and then I had a great chance on the last, and what a bad three‑putt. That’s just silly. I could have had a really nice week there, which is disappointing, but a lot learned, and I’ll move on now to Sea Island, and yeah, give it a go again next week.”
SHANE LOWRY STATS –
- Scores – 74, 69, 68, 73- 284
- Birdies – 12
- Pars – 52
- Bogeys – 8
- Fairways hit – 39 of 56
- Greens in regulation – 41 of 72
- Putts – 36 (Day 1), 30, 31 & 32 (Avg – 32.25 putts a round)
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