Lowry rides red-hot putter into contention at Renaissance

Mark McGowan

Shane Lowry (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry holed putts of 73, 35 and 29 feet as he made his way from outside the cutline into contention at the Genesis Scottish Open, while Padraig Harrington leads the early Irish starters on -7.

After an opening one-over 71, Lowry needed a low one on day two to see himself safely through to the weekend and he delivered in style, birdieing seven holes on his way to a six-under 64 that sees him climb to 13th on the leaderboard ahead of the afternoon wave.

Starting on the back nine, he opened his birdie account on the par-3 12th, holing a monstrous 73-footer that had to climb a ridge and brought a wide smile to the Offalyman’s face, that only grew when he rolled in an 18-footer for back-to-back birdies on the next.


A routine up-and-down on the par-5 16th got him to three-under for the round and he’d continue in similar fashion on the front nine, sinking a 29-footer on the second before almost holing out from 90 yards on the fourth, leaving a two-inch tap in to get to -5 for the day.

Another pinpoint approach to the par-3 sixth set up birdie number six, and, from an awkward stance beside the centre-line bunker on seven, he’d hit an excellent approach to the front of the green and roll in another lengthy putt, this time from 35 feet, to move to -6 for the tournament.

Unfortunately, a loose approach to the eighth led to his first bogey of the day, but he’d display his short-game prowess on the last, getting safely up-and-down from long left to sign for a six-under that beat playing partner Scottie Scheffler by one.

In the first group of the morning starters, Padraig Harrington backed up his opening three-under with a second round, four-under 66 to move to -7, while Tom McKibbin faces an anxious wait to see if he’ll play at the weekend after a two-under 68 move the Holywood man to -2 for the tournament and into a tie for 50th and, at present, is set to make the cut on the number.

Half the field are yet to complete their second rounds, however, and McKibbin will be hoping that playing conditions continue to deteriorate as heavy rain has moved in. Rory McIlroy is among the late starters and will be targeting the clubhouse lead set by Tom Kim and Tyrell Hatton at -9.

The latter had a putt to tie the course record but had to settle for an eight-under 62, but conceded that the round wasn’t as easy as he’d made it look. “No, it was stressful at times,” he said, “as most of my rounds are. But very happy with the chances I gave myself. I feel I hit a lot of good iron shots today, especially compared to yesterday, most improved to. Very happy with how that was and nice to see some putts drop, too.


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