Lowry misses the cut despite eagle finish as amateur Dunlap makes history

Ronan MacNamara
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Shane Lowry (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Shane Lowry missed the 54-hole cut at The American Express by a shot after compiling a final five holes that he may never see again.

Lowry holed out for an eagle on the par-4 9th from 133 yards to close out his round with his ball trickling down the slope and into the hole. It brought a smile and a laugh to the Offaly man who knew he was going to miss the cut by one on twelve-under-par after a rollercoaster round of 70.

The former Open champion had just reeled off a brace of birdies after a bogey on the par-5 5th and a triple bogey on the par-3 6th to complete a bizarre finish to his round.

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But this tournament belongs to US Amateur champion, Nick Dunlap who carded a blistering round of 60 to enter the history books as the lowest round by an amateur on the PGA Tour alongside Patrick Cantlay in 2011.

The 20-year-old University of Alabama sophomore could become the first amateur to win a PGA TOUR event since Phil Mickelson at the 1991 Northern Telecom Open. He would also be the second-youngest TOUR winner in the last 90 years.

He is the first amateur to hold a 54-hole lead/co-lead in a TOUR event since Paul Dunne at the 2015 Open Championship.

“It’s going to be hard,” said the world number three amateur. “It’s going to be something that I haven’t experienced yet, obviously, on the PGA TOUR. We’ve got a good game plan for that golf course, and just kind of go out there and do us and stay in the present.”

The American started well with four successive birdies from the eleventh before adding a brace of birdies on 16 and 17 to turn in 30.

Three birdies in five holes followed before an eagle on the par-5 6th put him on 59 watch. Needing two birdies in his last three holes, he closed out a wild Saturday with a birdie to roar three clear of Sam Burns.

“It was a blast. Honestly, like my caddie Hunter said it a million times today, there’s no time like the present. I think it’s easy, the putter felt so good. Everything — the hole looked like a funnel. You got a par-5 next hole, I’m going to do this and this. He did a really good job of keeping me settled and keeping me where I was. Ultimately, just kind of kept putting shots together and ended up with a pretty good round.”

The 20-year-old won’t be able to claim the pay check if he wins on Sunday but, membership of the PGA Tour beckons.

 

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