By Fatiha Betscher in Dubai.
Shane Lowry admits he’s in a ‘good place’ despite managing to squeeze in just four second round holes before play was halted ahead of what he says is now a far from ‘ideal’ Monday finish for the Irishman at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.
When a siren sounded near 5.30pm local time, Lowry had just holed a five-foot birdie putt at the fourth hole of his round, the par-4 14th to move to three-under-par.
Though the DP World Tour’s website is indicating Lowry has played five holes which is incorrect.
“I’m at three-under and only five shots back, so I’m in a good place,” he said.
“I’m hitting the ball well while I feel like I’m hitting good putts but just not holing that many.
“So, I’m happy enough but glad to get back on the course given I didn’t get to play at all yesterday. I didn’t come to the course, so I just took the day off and chilled out.”
Up to Friday afternoon, 61 millimetres has deluged the Dubai course to severely disrupt the $US 9m Hero Dubai Desert Classic event with most damage to the bunkers on the Emirates course.
It meant that after two days, the entire field of 132 players were yet to complete 36-holes, with just 51 players managing to tee-up in their second round before poor light stopped play around 5.30pm local time.
There was the bizarre sight of Dutchman Joost Luiten teeing-off the first at 5.20pm local time and before arriving at his tee shot, a siren sounded to halt play for the day, and all he could do was mark his ball. He then walked back to the tee in arm with his fiancée ahead of a 7.45am Saturday restart.
The DP World Tour’s Mike Stewart confirmed play will go through to an 18-hole Monday finish for a first time in the event’s 34-year history.
In those 34-years there has been one prior stoppage and that was in the 2007 event when lightning halted play on day two for some two-and-a-half hours.
However, while a Monday does not bother Rory McIlroy, it does mess-up Lowry’s plans as he’s contesting next week’s AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.
Rory, in speaking to this journalist with a no comment ‘incredulous’ look to my question to him during Wednesday’s official press conference, spoke to me when I asked if a Monday finish would suit him
“Even Tuesday. Most of the guys are going to RAK, some of the guys are going to Saudi,” said McIlroy. “I don’t think anyone is playing Pebble Beach from here next week, so we have all the time in the world, really, just to get it finished. You know I love four rounds!”
However, Lowry’s response was very different to that of his fellow Irishman.
“A Monday finish doesn’t suit me, no it doesn’t,” said Lowry.
“I am heading to Pebble which is a first of five tournaments for me, so it’s not ideal as it’s a long trip from here in Dubai to California but it is what it is.”
The LIV Golf duo of Brits Ian Poulter and Richard Bland head the field at eight-under.
Bland has picked-up three shots through four second round holes while ‘Poults’ birdied the first for a second day to be one-under his round after three holes.
Earlier, McIlroy returned for a 10am (Local time) restart to his round playing his three holes – birdie, eagle and birdie – and just seven shots for a six-under 66, and just minutes before Patrick Reed, on the opposite side of the draw eagle the 18th hole also in a 66.
- Full scoring HERE
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