Open Champion Shane Lowry will clearly be looking to find forward gears heading to the final round of the Honda Classic in Florida
Lowry was two-under par heading to ‘Moving Day’ at PGA National and just three shots from the lead in the $US7m event however day three did not quite go to the Irishman’s plans and he found himself relegated to the passenger seats of the Honda sponsored event in a round that included three birdies but also four bogeys and a fifth hole double-bogey.
Lowry made the turn at two-over par and looked to be clawing his way back up the board in holing a 25-footer for birdie on 13 but then it turned sour when he dropped shots at 17 and 18 in a score of 73, sending the World No. 19 back into a share of 23rd place at one-over par in total.
Up front, it is England’s Tommy Fleetwood leading the way as the former European Tour No. 1, posted a three-under par 67 for a five-under par tally to be one clear of American Brendan Steele (71) at four-under.
And it’s three England flags in the top-four with the former back-to-back World No. 1 duo of Lee Westwood (71) and Luke Donald (71) sharing third place.
With World No. 3 Brooks Koepka missing the cut, Fleetwood at No. 18 is the highest-ranked player left in the field and nothing would please the 29-year old more than to win on the American continent for a first occasion.
“I’ve had chances before to win on the PGA Tour and hopefully I will continue to have chances and whether it will be tomorrow or not I will be absolutely fine with that,” he said.
“I will sleep soundly tonight and will then wake-up in the morning, and go out tomorrow with the chance to win my first PGA event so I am really excited about that.”
Fleetwood’s round was a mix of six birdies along with three bogeys including dropping a shot at the par-3 15th and the opening hole of the three-hole famed ‘Bear Trap’.
And it was Fleetwood’s putt on 15 that he singled out as the ‘shot of his day’ with the Englishman asked if in selecting the 15th hole dropped shot if that was a reflection of the toughness of the course.
“It can be, yeah. I think the two biggest putts of the day for sure — I holed some monsters out there, but the two biggest ones were the bogey putt on 10 when I was making a hash of it there around the green, and 15, I’ve strengthened a 7-iron to that back trap and I was knackered in there, I was plugged, and I almost pulled off a world of a bunker shot, and should have done better with the second one, but you look at those putts, I’ve holed an eight, nine-footer there, maybe 10-footer for bogey — double bogeys don’t feel good, but that bogey felt good,” he said.
“You look at them holes, you’re a good shot away from having a chance at 2, but you’re also a bad shot away from bogey or double, and bogeys never feel too bad, and you know that you can move on and move forward still, and I think, yeah, those two putts were massive today.”