A sensational start to his second round had seen Shane Lowry surpass overnight leader JB Holmes and the Clara man at one point held a two-shot lead over the American in second place after ten holes. Before a difficult back nine saw him record two bogies to drop back to -8 and a share of the lead with Holmes and South African Dylan Frittelli.
A further shot adrift at -7 are Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood who both carded a round of 67 earlier this morning.
Lowry started this mornings round at Royal Portrush by following up yesterdays 67 with four birdies in the first five holes, a further birdie followed at the 8th hole and pars on the 4th, 6th, 7th & 9th saw him reach the turn at -5 for his round and -9 for the day. Another birdie after a long downhill put on the 10th has seen the Offaly native pull two shots clear.
The putt and the smile. Lowry leads The Open by 2 #TheOpen
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 19, 2019
Shane Lowry once again had another birdie chance at the 11th, but his putt from 15ft came up just short of the hole. The rain started to drive down as Lowry started the par 5 12th hole. This hole represented another great chance to pick up a shot or two as it has been the easiest hole so far this week. However, Lowry needed to recover from a second shot that found the rough. Which he duly did as he fired his 3rd to within 8 feet of the pin. The birdie effort went awry, but he tidied up for another par.
Lowry set himself for another birdie on the 13th as his tee shot on the par 3 found the green, but for the third time in as many holes, he had to settle for another par.
Shane showed his recovery skills once again on the 14th, as a second shot from the rough found the green on a hole that had given up the fewest birdie opportunities so far this week. A 60ft putt was lagged up to within 5ft for par putt, but the shot lipped the cup as for the first time today Lowry had a blemish on his card and he dropped back to -9.
More trouble followed for Lowry on the 15th as his second shot was marginally too long and it found a green side bunker. A sublime pitch for the sand saw Lowry land the ball to about 20 inches from the hole. He tapped in for another par.
The long par 3 16th was up next and his tee shot found the rough to the right of the green. His chip from there left him with a testing 8ft putt. However, Lowry showed great nerves to hole out.
Trouble wasn’t far away again on the 17th as a noise from the crowd as he was teeing off distracted him and the ball landed in a crowd of spectators to his left. His second shot came out strong and he overhit the green. The third shot for a couple of feet below the green went straight at the pin and almost found the hole. The ball was duly tapped in for par.
Onto the 18th and after his tee shot found the middle of the fairway his approach shot was hit too thin and came up short of the green. Two putt led to a second dropped shot of the day as he slipped back to -8 and a share of the Clubhouse lead.
More to follow as the round progresses….