Shane Lowry was left lamenting a poor first round after muscling his way to a respectable top-50 finish at the Players Championship in Florida.
Shane Lowry / Image from Getty Images
After being three-over in shooting a 75 on day one, Lowry played his closing 54-holes in eight-under with scores of 68, 69 and a final day 71 for a five-under par tally on the TPC Sawgrass course to finish T46.
Lowry made a brilliant par at 18 on the Friday, after finding water with his drive, to make the one-under par cut right on the mark and after went into the. final day four at four-under par but moved to six-under after holing a six-footer for birdie at the second and landing his 143-yard second shot to just four-feet at the par-4 sixth.
The Clara golfer pulled off a great up-and-down for par at the par-3 eighth hole with a 35-yard bunker shot to 12-feet and holing his par putt. Lowry then dropped three shots in two holes firstly taking a double at the ninth in finding water with his drive and then on the 10th he missed the green long.
Then for a first time in his week he picked off three birdies in succession two-putting the par-5 11th and then finding the green at the short par-4 12th and two-putting for birdie from 36-feet. Lowry then moved back to six-under for the event in holing a 20-footer for birdie at the par-2 13th.
He bogeyed 14 ahead of four closing pars, including the famed par-3 17th where Lowry had taken a double on Thursday, for his 71.
“I actually played alright even though I feel I didn’t get much out of my week,” he said. “I had a pretty bad middle of the round today which was disappointing. That hurt in not getting to 10-under but in saying that I am especially happy with the way I putted all week.”
“After shooting three-over on Thursday and then shooting eight-under the next three days is pretty good, so I am quite happy but yes, could have been better.”
Lowry ended his round as Webb Simpson remained well clear of the field, leading by five shots through his first three holes on day four.
And it prompted Lowry being quizzed as to whether he and all of Simpson’s rivals may have been playing a different course this week to the likely Players Championship winner?
“Yes, it’s felt that for that for the past three days while I have also been watching the golf on TV after my round and Webb has looked very impressive by holing a lot of putts and not getting himself into trouble,” said Lowry.
“On the few times he has been in trouble he’s managed to save par. It would be a pretty close tournament if he wasn’t playing (smiling) but he’s a nice guy, and someone who I have gotten to like, so it would be good if he hangs on as no-one wants to see anyone out here lose a seven-shot lead.”
Simpson, despite a double-bogey at the last, won by four shots posting a closing round 73 for an 18-under par victory tally