Shane Lowry admits he tried too hard on the back nine as a potentially fatal five, five, five finish put a serious dent in his Horizon Irish Open hopes at the K Club.
Lowry now finds himself five shots behind Hurly Long on eight-under after a level-par 72 with Rory McIlroy (-11), Ryan Fox (-10), Min Woo Lee and Billy Horschel (both -9) also ahead of him and gunning for victory.
“I probably tried too hard on the back nine today, I had some putts and I am just trying to will them in and they weren’t going in. it just gets frustrating,” said Lowry who opened with a birdie but gave it back with a bogey on the second and also birdied the 10th but dropped a late shot on 17.
“The crowds were amazing out there and I was just trying to do something to give them something to roar about because I didn’t give them much to roar about. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow.
“It’s hard, you finish 5-5-5- there and to come in 10 minutes after you’ve finished, it is just difficult to get your head around it. I feel like I did a lot well today, especially early on in my round. I tried to stay as patient as I could but then I got very scrappy on the back nine and I didn’t play great. But, you know, that’s golf and that’s it. I need go out there tomorrow and shoot a low front nine and get myself back in the tournament.”
Visibly frustrated after a disappointing day, Lowry is perhaps fortunate overnight leaders Shubhankar Sharma and Jordan Smith stalled on Saturday giving hope to the chasing pack. The Clara man will have to carry that hope in to Sunday and try and make a fast start to reignite his fading hopes.
Lowry feels if he can finish ahead of McIlroy, he may well clinch a second Irish Open.
“Yes, look, hopefully that’s my bad day out of the day and I can go out and shoot a low number tomorrow. We all thought the leading score was going to be a low more than it is and it is the same as it was this morning. Who knows what’s going to win the tournament, I just need to go out and look after myself tomorrow and hopefully at the end of the day it will be good enough.
“It is hard to stand here and talk about it 10 minutes after I have finished but I am sure when I sit down and have my dinner tonight and relax I will say to myself, I am in a good position going into the final round of this tournament. I am obviously five back of the leader and three back of Rory so that’s my first instinct is to look at that and that’s what I am thinking. I will be out about an hour or so before the leaders and if I can get out and make a few birdies early on and give them something to think about that will be great.”