Bogey-free 67 leaves Lowry seven behind Burns

Ronan MacNamara

Shane Lowry (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Shane Lowry carded his second straight round of 67 at the American Express to climb into a share of 36th place on ten-under-par and seven shots adrift of Sam Burns.

Playing on the Nicklaus Tournament Course, Lowry endured a slow start but three birdies in a row from the 8th kickstarted his round and a late brace on 15 and 16 lifted him into double digits under-par.

He still has a mountain to climb to catch the red hot Burns who carded a career-low 61 to lead by one stroke from Michael Kim with US Amateur champion Nick Dunlap a shot further back.


At seventeen-under-par, Burns reeled off seven birdies and a brace of eagles (4th and 11th). He surged clear with four birdies in a row from the 13th to the 16th as he threatened the third sub-60 round in the tournament’s history.

“Obviously, everybody is shooting some good numbers, so (I’m) just trying to keep pace and trying to hit as many quality shots and get as many looks as possible,” said Burns, who has five PGA TOUR victories. “I think the greens are really good around La Quinta (Country Club) and (Nicklaus Tournament) and Stadium, so I think it comes down to being able to make some key putts.”

All the talk is about the young amateur, Dunlap, who played a starring role as USA pipped Great Britain and Ireland to the Walker Cup in St Andrews last September.

The University of Alabama sophomore is here on a sponsor’s exemption and is looking to become the eighth amateur to win on the PGA Tour since 1945.

The American carded an impressive seven-under 65 to reach -15.

“Pressure’s a privilege,” Dunlap said after the round, admitting he was very nervous as he closed the round. “I got a great opportunity to be here, and to feel what I felt on 16, 17, 18, I’m sure it’s — hopefully, if I keep playing well, it’s only going to magnify.”

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