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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Lowry confident of having ‘Bo’ back on the bag next month at Wells Fargo

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Shane Lowry is hopeful his Open Championship winning caddie, Bo Martin will be able to return to the US for next month’s Wells Fargo Championship.

Martin, along with Lowry’s long-time coach, Neil Manchip returned to Ireland following last week’s Masters so that they would be back before Ireland’s new regulation that states anyone entering Ireland from the US must enter an official ‘self-isolating’ hotel for a 10-day quarantine period.

Lowry expressed his displeasure with last week’s announcement of the new rule stating, in part, that elite sportspeople should be granted an exemption from the new rule. However, speaking to the Clara golfer post his opening one-under par round of 71 at the RBC Heritage Classic, Lowry was hopeful Martin will be back on the bag for the Wells Fargo Championship taking place at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina from May 6-9.

“I have Gary Matthews on the bag and he’s only on the bag for this week,” said Lowry. “My regular caddie, Bo organised that last Sunday night as the guy who Gary Matthews regularly caddies for, is not playing this week.

“But the good news is that Bo is able to travel back to the States and he’ll team-up with me at Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo which will be my next event.

“We’re not really sure about everything yet as we thought there had been an exemption filed regarding this new Irish entry rule but it turns out there was not. So, that’s still up in the air but Bo is definitely returning to the US but I don’t know how long that will be for. So, fingers crossed it hopefully it all works out.”

South African-born Matthews caddied last week at the Masters for Chilean Joachim Niemann and in his near 20-year caddying career he’s caddied for a host of name players including Masters winning trio of Trevor Immelman, Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia along with Tim Clark, Camilo Villegas, Luke Donald and former Ladies No. 1 Lydia Ko.

A last hole birdie handed Lowry his one-under par 70 to be tied with super Scot Robert MacIntyre in a share of 46th after day one of the Hilton Head event. Lowry carded six birdies and five bogeys in an eventful opening day in Harbour Town but trails a whopping eight shots behind Aussie Cameron Smith who gave his ‘Mullet’ haircut plenty of TV coverage in muscling his way to a sensational nine-under par 62.

Former Open Champion Stewart Cink went out earlier in the day to post an eight-under par 62, a round that began with bogey, only to be overhauled by Smith who was out in the windier and more testing afternoon conditions.

The 27-year-old Smith, a winner earlier this year of the Sony Open in Hawaii, holed a bunker shot for birdie on 17 to tie Cink’s round edging past the 2009 Turnberry champion in holing a five-footer at the last.

Graeme McDowell posted a two-over par round of 73 to leave him just inside the top-100 in 99th with work to do to make the weekend cut.

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