Lowry ties lowest round in major history

Ronan MacNamara

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 18: Shane Lowry of Ireland plays his shot from the fifth tee during the third round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 18, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Shane Lowry might be disappointed to have missed out on a record major championship score of 61 but when he looks at the leaderboard and sees his name near the top he will be delighted.

Lowry rocketed up the leaderboard with a record equalling 62 to reach 13- under and at the time of writing he is one behind Xander Schauffele at the PGA Championship in Valhalla.

“Probably the most disappointed anyone can ever be shooting 62. I knew what was at stake.

“Just didn’t hit the ball hard enough. Had it on a good read and just broke away from the hole. Look, I went out there with a job to do today, and my job was to try to get myself back in the tournament, and I definitely did that.”

Teeing off eight shots off the pace, the Clara man roared out of the traps with four successive birdies from the 2nd before birdies on 7 and 9 saw him turn in a sumptuous 29 to put him firmly in the mix for a second major title.

While Rory McIlroy made a front nine charge but fell away coming home, Lowry sustained his challenge with birdies on 13, 14 and 17 on a day where he holed over 150 feet of putts in the best putting round of his career.

“I changed my putter at the Zurich Classic, and even there like if I had have putted well, I think me and Rory would have won by a few.
I feel like I’ve sort of changed up how I’ve been practicing the last two weeks, sort of getting away from the technical side of it and just trying to hole putts and just doing a lot of drills.

“But yeah, it’s nice to finally see a few going in the hole because it’s been a slow year for me on the greens. It’s been nice to see it this week.

“Look, when I got here, I saw the greens. The greens are beautiful. They’re a nice pace to hole putts. It was nice to see a few going in.”

That left the former Open champion needing a closing birdie for a major record round of 61. A good drive, lay up and a neat wedge to ten feet set up a history making moment but his putt died of pace and missed on the low side.

It’s five years since that glorious day in Portrush and if the leaders don’t break too far ahead, Lowry is ready to fight for a second major title.

“Obviously you come here the start of every major championship, and you know what it means to win one of theme. I’ve been fortunate to do it before, and to win one is pretty good, but to win multiple, you’re kind of a bit of a different level.

“Yeah, it would mean a lot to me tomorrow. Obviously, look, there’s a long way between now and that. We’ll see what Xander does and Collin does on the back nine today first, and then we’ll go out tomorrow, and hopefully I can — I’ll just go out and give my best.

“I go out and fight hard. I’ve been in this position a few times before, learned from the sort of Oakmont and tournaments like that and brought that into Portrush, and hopefully I can bring some of that with me tomorrow and just give it everything.”

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