Shane Lowry will be looking to move well into the elite Race to Dubai top-60 with a hopeful top-3 finish over what will be now the third and final round of the seriously rain-affected Andalucia Valderrama Masters.
Tournament host and defending champ, Sergio Garcia stormed his way to four-shot 36-hole lead, birdieing four of his closing five holes, including his closing three, in a score of 64 to lead at 10-under par while England’s Ashley Chesters (71) is lying second at six-under par.
Lowry returned to the course two days after posting a first round 69 and not having played a shot on Friday as rain continued to play havoc with the Euro 2m event, forcing officials to reduce the tournament to 54-holes and advising players, if necessary, that there will be a Monday finish.
When Lowry finally teed-up at 11.15am Saturday on the famed former Ryder Cup host venue he parred his opening five holes before the first of two birdies at the par-3 6th hole ahead of dropping a shot at the par-4 7th.
The Clara golfer then parred his next 10 holes before a birdie on 18 in a one-over par 70 to end 36-holes sharing sixth place with England’s Lee Westwood at three-under par.
Lowry arrived on the Costa del Sol lying 63rd on the European Tour money list and with three players ahead of him on the Race to Dubai to come off the list being ‘affiliate’ members.
This means Lowry is effectively 60th on the Race to Dubai but as he stated ahead of the Spanish event his big goal is to end what has been a disappointing year (by his own standards) inside the top-30 that would ensure he tees-up in next year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Mt. Juliet attached Gavin Moynihan booked his place in the last round with scores of 74 and 71 to be sharing 39th place at two-over par and Padraig Harrington also managed to squeeze his way into the last round despite a second round 74 that began with an opening hole birdie but also produced four bogeys to be sharing 63rd at four-over par.