Late birdies give Lowry hope of making the cut: ‘Never give up’

Ronan MacNamara

Shane Lowry (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry will be playing the waiting game to find out whether he makes the cut at the PLAYERS Championship or not but he was proud to at least give himself a fighting chance after posting a second round 69 courtesy of some late birdies.

It leaves Lowry a shot outside the cut mark at the time of writing on two-over-par and he is hoping for some weekend work at TPC Sawgrass before casting an eye over Augusta National with Seamus Power on Monday.

The Clara native opened with a disappointing 77 on Thursday and he saw his frustrations boil over when he snapped an iron on the 5th. It had been a rocky period for him after an 80 in round three of the Arnold Palmer Invitational so he was pleased to get the rewards for plugging away.

“Never give up,” Lowry told Scott Michaux of the Irish Examiner. “Regardless, I’ve shot a couple of bad scores lately and it’s not from a lack of trying with me.

“I never give up and try my best. I probably try too hard sometimes. I didn’t give up today and if you don’t give up and give it your all, you can sit here at the end of the day and be proud of yourself.”

“I’m very happy with today,” said Lowry who gave himself a fighting chance with birdies on 7 and 8. “Like, I didn’t play that great and didn’t feel comfortable out there, but to shoot 69 in those conditions is pretty good.

“I said to (caddie) Darren (Reynolds) after I came off nine – regardless of whether we make the cut or not, to throw a 69 out there in those conditions is pretty good and we move on whether it be here tomorrow or home for a much-needed rest.”

Lowry arrived with a promising Sawgrass CV following two previous top-15 finishes but he conceded he was struggling with a left off the tee and was feeling tentative in the firm and fast conditions.

A birdie on the par-5 9th would have made Lowry a certainty to make the cut but having been erratic in his eight events over a nine week stretch, he was pleased to finish strong.

“To be honest, I had a left in me yesterday and I don’t normally have a left,” Lowry admitted. “If you go through this golf course in your head, left is trouble on every hole. So, it’s a stressful and tough golf course in those conditions.

“I haven’t played it as firm as this since we played it in May time. The greens were firm, fast, (with) wind blowing across the course. It’s very tricky and the rough is juicy. At the end of the day, it is the fifth major and is the biggest event on the PGA Tour, so that’s how it should be.

“I played a little bit better today, but I was probably too scared of left and hit a few right today. It was one of those. Hopefully, I can go on and shoot a couple of decent scores and make a few FedEx Cup points.”

Play was suspended due to inclement weather with Power due to miss the cut after a 76 as is Rory McIlroy who got off to a disastrous start to his second round dropping three shots in two holes on the fifth and sixth before birdieing the 7th.

McIlroy is six-over for the championship with South African ace Christiaan Bezuidenhout sharing the lead with Adam Svensson on eight-under.

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