John Murphy seven shots off the lead as Shane Lowry misses the cut

Conor Cantwell

John Murphy (Image: Getty Images)

John Murphy made his first cut in six attempts at the D+D Real Czech Masters as Shane Lowry bowed out early, casting doubts over his Ryder Cup qualification hopes.

Murphy finished as the lowest-scoring Irish player after the first two days ahead of Padraig Harrington (-5) and Shane Lowry (-2), as the Cork man finished above the cut for the third time this season.

Alexander Björk leads the tournament on thirteen-under-par with the Swede finishing the day one shot clear of Denmark’s Nicolai Højgaard.


Murphy began his round with a solid opening five holes before making his way up the leaderboard courtesy of a birdie on the sixth. The Kinsale native followed up with a par before another red score on the eighth, which sent Murphy into the final nine holes on four-under-par and on the cut line.

A flurry of birdies on the opening three holes on his back nine catapulted the 25-year-old onto seven-under-par for the day with the cut firmly in his sights. A bogey on the sixteenth did let some of the air out of Murphy’s balloon but he avoided any late disasters with two pars to finishon six-under-par.

This is certainly a highlight for the talented Irish golfer, who has appeared sporadically this summer as he took time off for mental health reasons.

Just behind Murphy is the evergreen figure of Harrington whose round of 68 leaves him tied for 36th in the standings heading into the weekend’s play.

Harrington’s front nine was just the foundation he needed as he looked for a high finish in Prague. Birdies on his third hole – the 12th – followed by back-to-back birdies on the 14th and 15th sent the established Irish golfer into the back nine with a pep in his step.

Another birdie on the opening hole of his back nine continued his hot run of form. Even a bogey on his penultimate hole couldn’t fluster Harrington as he birdied his final hole, finishing the day on five-under-par.

The most high-profile Irishman on the course, Lowry, was yet again plagued by an inconsistent round, with the Offaly man finishing the day on one-under-par and two-under-par for the tournament which wasn’t good enough to make the cut.

Yet again, Lowry started well out of the traps with a birdie on his second hole but a bogey on the following hole sent him back to where he started the day.

The remainder of the Clara man’s front nine was consistent, with pars on seven of his opening nine holes. A bogey on his 12th hole of the day – the third – was quickly remedied by a birdie on the following hole.

Although a birdie on the 6th meant that Lowry finished below par for the second day running, the Ryder Cup hopeful missed the cut in frustrating fashion.

With a wildcard selection looking like his only way into Luke Donald’s squad, a poor performance like this may not be detrimental to his Ryder Cup prospects, but it certainly doesn’t help.

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