Those spectators lucky enough to be in attendance at 148th British Open today saw a truly remarkable round of golf from Shane Lowry, which saw him set a course record on the Dunluce links, and the second lowest round ever recorded at a major championship. The Clara man carded an eight under 63 in his third round at Royal Portrush today. The Offaly man will tee off at 1:47pm tomorrow on -16 alongside Tommy Fleetwood who sits four shots back on -12. JB Holmes is a further two behind on -10 and Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka are 7 behind Lowry at -9.
Lowry’s sensational round followed on from his first two rounds of 67. However, unlike yesterday’s round of 67 where he reached the turn in 31 only to undo some of the good work as he dropped two shots on the back nine, as he carded a 36 for the last nine holes. Today’s card was blemish-free as he avoided bogeys with a couple of scrambled pars saves. His back nine was completed in 30 as he finished strong with five birdies in the last nine holes. This included a run of three on the spin on the home stretch at the 15th,16th & 17th. He found the green on the 18th and had a putt for four in a row, but his shot agonisingly hung on the lip of the hole.
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Speaking to Sky Sports after his amazing round Lowry said “There’s nowhere I’d rather be, I’ve got a four-shot lead in an Open championship in Ireland. Tomorrow is going to be incredible regardless of what happens.”
One of the highlights of his amazing round was a seven-iron shot from the rough on the 10th hole where Lowry’s shot curled back down from a bank high on the right of the hole and came to rest just a few feet from the hole. He subsequently nailed the birdie putt and the galleries responded with a massive roar.
Lowry admitted to feeding off the support and goodwill of the crowd and said: “Honestly, every time I get a putt, I just want to hole it because of the roar, I just want to hear that roar again.”
He later added that he turned to his caddied as they came up the 17th hole and said “The next half an hour, we might never experience anything like this again, so enjoy it – and that’s what I did.” ….”It’s just been one of the most incredible days of my life.”
Lowry was reminded that he previously held a four-shot lead entering the final day of the US Open at Oakmont in 2016 only to see a final round of 76 ruin his chances on that occasion. He admitted that he knows tomorrow will be difficult, but he’s ready for the challenge.
The weather look set to be a large factor in tomorrows play as the favourable scoring conditions of the today look set to give way to wind and rain tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, for Lowry and the gathered throng of his supporters he can prevail against both the conditions and the field tomorrow and lift the Claret Jug sometime around 6 pm tomorrow evening.