Lowry finds time to praise R&A’s Open plans in wake of Torrey Pines disappointment

Bernie McGuire
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Lowry finds time to praise R&A’s Open plans in wake of Torrey Pines disappointment

Shane Lowry reacts to a missed putt on the ninth hole during the second round at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif. on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Chris Keane/USGA)

Shane Lowry took time to praise the R&A’s decision to permit spectators at next month’s Open in the wake of his own personal disappointment in his four-round showing at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

After the high of a month ago when he superbly shared fourth place at the PGA Championship, Lowry turned his back on the brutal South Course with scores of 74, 72, 74 and a shock closing eight-over par 79 for a 13-over par tally.

His bitter disappointment was mirrored in three-putting the 72nd green for a double-bogey ‘7’ with his last day tally matching his highest U.S. Open round when he signed for a second round 79 in missing the cut at the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. Lowry also ended a 30th round of his ninth U.S. Open without a single final day birdie and a scorecard showing seven bogeys and the last hole double to finish sharing 65th place in the remaining 71-player field.

“This week just wasn’t my week,” Lowry said. “I came here to Torrey Pines, made the cut, got kicked in the nuts a few times around the golf course. It was just hard. I feel like my game is in decent shape and even though I was out there shooting 79 today, I don’t think I should go away and look into that too much because this golf course was just hard today.”

Lowry walked from the last green just as fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy was heading down the first, looking to end a seven-years major’s drought in capturing a second U.S. Open trophy. And despite moving to within one stroke of the lead early on Sunday, McIlroy would card an eventual two-over 73 to finish in a tie for seventh at one-under, five shots behind superb winner, Jon Rahm.

Lowry’s next event will be July 1st to 4th Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, his last tournament ahead of the defence of his Open Championship title a fortnight later at Royal St. George’s.

“All I am thinking about is getting back home to Ireland as I haven’t been back for quite a few months since Christmas, it will be nice to get back home to see all my family and friends,” he said.

“Then I’ve got the Irish Open the following week and then I will head over to Royal St. George’s two weeks later to defend The Open which is going to be pretty cool.

“It’s great the R&A has announced that there will be 32,000 spectators allowed in per day which is great as there will be full grandstands and a real Open atmosphere, so that’s going to be nice, and I am really excited about that.”

Though there was not much excitement for Lowry on day four along the cliff top course overlooking the Pacific Ocean with the longest club in Lowry’s bag delivering the most hurt with the Clara golfer finding just half of Torrey’s 14 fairways on day four.

A day earlier, Lowry was clearly annoyed in seeing his approach shot into the 18th spin back into the water for a closing bogey in a three-over par 74 and now for a second day running the last hole again jumped-up to maul the Irishman.

The start of his last round was no brighter than the end to his third day when after splitting the opening fairway, Lowry sent his second into a greenside bunker en route to a bogey ‘5’.

Lowry then proceeded to bogey the sixth and eighth holes to make the turn at three-over and then in a horror stretch he bogeyed 13, 14, and then in finding the front of the green at the par-3 16th, he three-putted for the sixth bogey of his round ahead of more hurt at the last.

And while Lowry looks to regroup, Phil Mickelson’s quest to win a first U.S. Open will extend another year when the American will be aged 52. Mickelson’s 30th U.S. Open ended with a round of 75 as he continues to strive to secure the one major he still needs to join golf’s exclusive ‘Grand Slam Club’.

Mickelson never recovered after being three-over after just five holes on day one with day four a mix of three birdies but also seven bogeys. While asked after his round if this would be his last U.S. Open appearance, ‘Lefty’ dodged the question remarking: “I’m disappointed I didn’t play better. I’m very surprised that, in the 30 years that I’ve played the U.S. Open, this is the best I’ve seen. I thought they did a remarkable job, and I’m really proud and happy that it’s here at Torrey.

“The setup is the best I’ve ever seen, and it allows on some holes — what they did really well is they made some of the hard holes harder pars, like 11 and 12, and they made some of the easy holes, like 2, easier so you can make birdies.

“That type of setup allows the players who are playing well to make up ground or separate themselves from the field. They just did such a great job here. I’m very impressed.”

 

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