Cold putter holds Lowry back in Hilton Head as Hovland leads

Ronan MacNamara

Shane Lowry (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry continued to have little fortune on the greens as he left himself with work to do to keep pace with the leaders after Viktor Hovland burst in front with a bogey-free 64 at the RBC Heritage. 

Lowry posted a one-under 70 courtesy of a closing birdie on the par-4 9th but it was another day of a blunt blade on the greens as he carded two birdies and a bogey and ranked 81st in strokes gained putting. 

It was another stellar ball striking day for the Offaly man around Hilton Head as he finished the day 13th in strokes gained tee to green and 10th in strokes gained approach but his inability to take advantage of numerous good birdie opportunities has left him six behind Hovland and in a share of 47th place. 


Hovland on the other hand had a blistering day with the flat stick, taking just 25 putts as he stormed into the lead. 

The Norwegian shared the lead after round one of the Masters last week and he insists he has taken many lessons from Augusta National into this week. 

“I didn’t putt it as good the last three rounds last week as I did the first round, which obviously is hard to do,” said the 25-year-old. 

“I hit it OK, but I didn’t hit it as great as I did the first round. 

“But I took a big lesson from not short-siding myself as much last week because out there on that golf course on some of those pins, I got a little too greedy and I missed it in the wrong spots, and I just can’t allow myself to do that. 

“So this week I’m just trying to play a bit more, not conservatively, but making sure that I hit more greens, centre of the greens, and can lean on my putter. 

“And if I do miss a green, I feel like my short game’s in a good spot where I can make an up-and-down.” 

Hovland leads Brian Harman by a shot while he is two ahead of cult hero Joel Dahmen and a returning to form, Matt Fitzpatrick and US Ryder Cup skipper Zach Johnson. 

Seamus Power tripled 18 to sign for a six-over 77. 

Scoring HERE

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