Despite lighting up moving day at St Andrews, Shane Lowry was very disappointed with his third round after he let slip a chance to wrestle his way into contention.
Lowry won’t win the 150th Open Championship but he might have had the moment or moments of the week after he pitched in for back-to-back eagles which ultimately set the tone for a thrilling afternoon for the groups in front of him.
“I hit a poor tee shot on 9 and got a pretty good break and just hit a lovely pitch. It was a nice lie in the rough and I could be fairly aggressive. I knew it was going to spin and hit a lovely shot.
“And 10 I hit a great drive and had a straightforward enough pitch. But it was a tricky pin. I was just trying to get as close as I could, and it just came out perfect and went in,” he explained.
A brace of two’s on the par-4 9th and 10th saw Lowry surge into contention after what had been a quiet moving day to that point and drew hope that we could have more than one home hopeful in the mix on Sunday at St Andrews.
Those eagles moved the Clara native to within four of Cameron Smith on -9 as he looked to reignite his hopes of a second Claret Jugs, however, he failed to build on that and he was forced to settle for a three-under 69 and a seven-under total, which he was seething at.
“Yeah, it was a very emotional day,” said a very disappointed Lowry. “I felt like through the middle of the front nine I was just going along okay, not doing anything great. Obviously 9 and 10 happened and I felt like I was in the tournament. And did well to play my way out of the tournament from there.
“Pretty annoyed and pretty pissed off, to be honest. And I keep telling myself and you keep saying all the time that you want to get yourself to the back nine on a Saturday with an opportunity to do something great. And I got myself there today and I didn’t perform. So that’s very disappointing.”
The Offaly man was unlucky his pitch on 12 didn’t filter it’s way down to the pin, leaving him with a treacherous putt down the hill which he ultimately took three stabs at.
The flat stick has been the achilles heel this week and the 35-year-old was unable to birdie the par-5 14th.
Further dropped shots on 15 and 17 brought his faint hopes to an end and a birdie on 18 did little to soften the blow with Lowry a distant eight shots back of Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland at the time of writing.
“But the rest of the day wasn’t so enjoyable. Look, I feel like I played okay, but I don’t think it — wouldn’t take Einstein to figure out what went wrong on the back nine. My putting was horrific.
“I’m so disappointed to be honest because I worked so hard, and I work so hard to get myself in those positions, and I’m as disappointed as I’ve been in a long time. To be honest, I wasn’t going to come in here, but it’s just hard. You feel like you’re there, like you’ve got a good chance.
“I shoot 1-under for the last seven holes and I’m very bullish about my chances going into tomorrow. Now I have no chance. It’s just very disappointing.”