By Bernie McGuire in Dubai.
No two days are ever the same in golf. Just ask Shane Lowry.
After two disappointing rounds at the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, Lowry started finding the hole more regularly posting a four-under-par 68 to move into the red for a first time in this week’s Rolex Series event at four-under-par, and head to lunch just outside the top-20.
Lowry had one more birdie on day three, seven to be exact, that his combined birdie total over the earlier two rounds.
“I played great today. I’m playing well. I am driving the ball as best as I’ve driven it but I’ve really struggled on the greens all week.
“It’s why I am in the position I was yesterday in shooting 74. If I had putted half-decent I would be up there and hopefully in contention. I am hitting the ball honestly as well as I have for a long time. I just need to keep telling myself that because when you’re fighting around the cut mark it is easy to lose confidence.
“So, happy to come out today and shoot a decent score and get myself up the board”.
Lowry had headed straight to the practice putting green at the back of the corporate enclosures lining the ninth and 18th green to work on his putting, and it was the same scenario on Friday.
The efforts paid dividends with the former Open Champion managing seven birdies on golf’s traditional ‘moving day’ bursting from the blocks with three birdies in five holes, the best probably the second where Lowry landed a 168-yard second shot to 19-feet and holed the putt.
Though sticking out on Lowry’s card is a double-bogey ‘6’ at the ninth where he found the water with his drive that was just too long on the dog-leg right hole.
He birdied the par-5 10th for the second day in three and while dropping a shot at the 12th, Lowry then birdied 13 before holing birdie putts of nine feet on 17 before sending his second at the last over the water and to the back of the green before two-putting for birdie from some 20-yards, the fourth putt being six-feet.
“I’ve found the new greens very hard to read and I just lost confidence on them over the opening two days”, he said.
“I’m working hard at it, so I’ll get it back. I had putted really solid over back half of last year, and I am pretty happy with the path I am on with my putting.
“All I need to do is keep trusting the work I’m doing.
“I’m thinking now if I can go out and shoot five-under tomorrow I might make top-10”.