Lowry comes up bitterly short-changed after an impressive opening nine

Bernie McGuire

Shane Lowry at the 2023 U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club . (James Gilbert/USGA)

Albeit for a short time, Shane Lowry was the clubhouse leader early on day three of the 123rd U.S. Open in suburban Beverly Hills.

Lowry had been the big mover on golf’s ‘moving day’, muscling his way to four-under through nine holes before the back nine on the host L.A. Country Club course jumped-up to bite the Offaly golfer.

A very disappointed Lowry walked off close to four hours after first teeing-up, clearly looking short-changed in signing for two-under-par 68 to get back to one-under.


For Lowry though, it was a round that just got away from him heading to a quiet corner of the clubhouse, and in the bigger tournament picture then sharing 34th place.

“Two better I’d be standing right here pretty chuffed with myself,” Lowry said to reporters.

“A couple of bad shots on the back and I paid the price for them. It’s still pleasing, but could have been better, you know, like most of my days this year.

“Obviously got to 4-under after 9 and I was pretty happy with myself but I got robbed on 10 and I was sort of thinking if I could shoot 5-under today that — I was really happy when I woke up this morning and seen the sun out and bit of wind.

“I thought the leaders are not playing very late. Might get a bit tougher than we’re going to get it, so I thought if I could shoot a score — 2-under wasn’t what I had in mind, but still decent.”

Lowry teed-up contesting his 11th U.S. Open and ensuring his place over four days for a seventh occasion, and it could not have been a better kick-start in birdieing his second after landing a super fairway shot to just three-feet and pin-high right. Lowry backed up the birdie on two by draining a super four-footer for birdie at the par-3 third.

He parred the next four holes before a third birdie of the day at the par-5 eighth hole, and then a fourth from just five-feet at the par-3 ninth hole to move Lowry inside the top-10, well over two hours before any in the overnight top-10 had teed-up.

However, it proved to be the high watermark of Lowry’s third round challenge when leaving his tee-shot short of the green at the par-4 11th, and then two-putting from 40-feet for a bogey ‘4’.

Lowry compounded the hurt with the former Open champ slipping down the leaderboard, dropping a second shot at the 12th. He headed off to the uphill 13th with the shoulders slumped and then he turned his back on his second that found its way to a greenside bunker, and from where he saved par.

Though the Royal Portrush winning hero was not done, bouncing back with a two-putt birdie from eight-feet for birdie at the par-5 14th but giving the shot back with a bogey on 16 ahead two closing pars.

“I feel like I’ve been mentally pretty good. I putted nice. Early on today I holed some great par putts,” Lowry added.

“So pretty happy with that. My iron play hasn’t been amazing, as good as it normally is. That 7-iron on the last was pretty poor to be honest.

“Yeah it’s one of those weeks where I’m finding other stuff and losing others. It’s a funny game where I’m doing some things well one week and then other things well another week.

“Like I keep saying, it’ll all come together soon. I just hope it’s on the right week”.

It was about 45-minutes later, around 2.30pm local time that Patrick Cantlay, who had been the ‘Low Amateur’ at the 2011 U.S. Open won by Rory McIlroy, ended his round at one-under in total and into the then clubhouse lead.

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