Shane Lowry muscled his way to just outside the Memorial top-10 declaring he’s buried all demons from last week’s Wentworth heartache.
Lowry took full advantage of the warm and benign conditions early on day two of the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event in suburban Dublin, Ohio.
Lowry also found himself targeted for a random drugs test following his round that included six birdies and just two bogeys.
In fact, the Clara golfer also shook off any lingering jet-lag to grab five birdies in a seven-hole stretch from the Muirfield Village third hole and then sink three in a row from the seventh.
Lowry then went bogey, birdie and bogey from 14 to head to lunch trailing 10 shots behind tearaway leader Jason Dufner with the quietly-spoken former PGA Championship winner adding a 65 to his opening 66 to storming six shots clear of Rickie Fowler who added a 66 to move to eight-under.
The pick of Lowry’s birdies was his first at the par four third hole where he missed the green left but then chipped-in from 16-feet.
Though at the par three eighth hole Lowry put his shot to five-feet and he holed the putt ahead of finding the water-guarded ninth green in two and sinking his 11-foot birdie.
“It was an alright round today and i am feeling a lot fresher today after a great sleep and getting that jet-lag out of the system”, he said.
“I got off to a great start to be five-under after nine and just struggled a bit on the back nine with two bad bogeys including three-putting from nowhere.
“Overall I am pretty pleased even though in saying that I am 10 behind Jason but then he must be playing a different golf course than the rest of us”
“But the good thing, and I want to stress this, I am playing well as we saw last week. I played so well last week at the BMW and it was only those two holes near the end of Sunday.”
“So, that is all behind me and I am looking ahead again being all positive as I am again in a decent position going to the weekend”.
There was dismay on Padraig Harrington’s face at the last when, after a wayward drive left, his third was long and landing some 80-feet behind the flag and in deep rough.
Then in playing his fourth Harrington’s chip shot hit the bottom of the flagstick and with Harrington, and in his first PGA event in three months, watching as his ball cannoned off the bottom of the stick and rolling all the way to the front of the green and now 42-feet shy of the hole.
But Harrington then drew wide applause when he holed the bogey putt.
“It was a great bogey in the end but then I was lucky as it my only chance, given my lie, to hit the stick,” he said.
“So, if there is such a thing as a good bogey that was one.
“I am still not very competitive and while I am playing okay but in saying that I am very happy to make the cut as it is two more competitive rounds”.
It is just the second cut Harrington has made in six PGA Tour starts this season.