Rónán MacNamara in Hoylake
Shane Lowry lamented some “silly mistakes” on day one of the 151st Open Championship as he opened his campaign with a one-over 72 which by no means leaves him out of the mix at this early stage.
Trailing clubhouse leaders Christo Lamprecht and Tommy Fleetwood by six strokes as the afternoon wave get underway, Lowry endured a mixed opening effort in Royal Liverpool carding three birdies and four bogeys which he described as average.
“I felt like there was decent stuff in there and a few silly mistakes. A little disappointing where I feel like I might have played a little bit better than that. Level par before I played out there and with the two par 5s to come you think you’re going to give yourself a chance to shoot under par.
“Look, it is what it is. There’s some good scores. I haven’t really looked at the scores, but I’m sure there’s some bad scores, as well. I didn’t feel like it was that easy. I felt like the back nine was playing quite tricky. To get the ball in the fairway and get irons in your hand, tricky shots, wind in out of the left.
“Yeah, I don’t really know what to make of my day. Kind of felt pretty average. Some nice stuff but some average stuff, as well.”
The 2019 Open champion made bogey on the par-5 fifteenth from the middle of the fairway off the tee but made a superb up and down from left of the par-3 17th. He was unlucky to see an 18-foot birdie effort turn its nose up at the hole after a poor third from the bunker.
While it was a bit of the good and bad on Thursday, Lowry feels he is close to shooting a low score and hopes he can produce the goods on Friday to leave him in a position to challenge over the weekend in Hoylake.
“I’ve shown over the last few weeks that I can go and shoot low any day I go out there. I played nicely. I hit some nice shots, hit some average shots. It’s not an easy golf course. Like I said, it’s just easy to stand there and look at the guys who are shooting good scores and say that’s what you should be doing.
“But I think anything under par is a decent score out there. I obviously didn’t do that, but I wasn’t far away.
“I feel like I wasn’t far away today from shooting a decent score. Like I said, playing in ’15 I drew a decent lie there and made a bad mistake missing that second shot left where that pin was; made a bad bogey there.
“But other than that, like you’re going to make bogeys out there. You try and make as little bogeys as you can. It would have been nice for that one to drop on the last. Level par would have felt a lot better.
“Look, it’s easy to stand here and look at the guys at the top of the leaderboard, 5-under and few people -under and stuff. But it wasn’t that easy. I’ll go home and 24 hours until I tee off tomorrow, so I will just take it easy and get out there tomorrow and do my best.”