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Lowry has Friday feeling after late Sawgrass birdie boost; level Power – News – Irish Golf Desk


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Power (37) knows he has his work cut out to make the cut after a slow day but he feels his game is coming around after a year of injury problems that have caused him to fall from 30th to 101st in the world.

“Didn’t do much, to be honest,” Power said. “So, got a good score, that sums that up. Didn’t do enough good things. A lot of work to do tomorrow.”

The West Waterford man had his best finish for eight months when he tied for 21st at Bay Hill, having been forced to get a cortisone shot in his injured hip in January.

“My game is coming around,” Power added. “This is my second month back after dealing with injuries. I’m getting back into it now and looking forward to it. 

“I should be good going forward. It was just something that I had to deal with and kind of frustrating timing.”

As for his chances this week, he’s not giving up.

“Obviously, around this course, you’ve got loads of chances, so you’ve got to take advantage of some of that,” he said. “But, yeah, there’s a lot of good things today. So do the same tomorrow and hopefully get a couple of good breaks.

US Open champion Clark made it look simple in the afternoon as he made eight birdies in a 65 to join early pace-setters Schauffele and McIlroy on seven-under, one stroke clear of Canada’s Nick Taylor and England’s Matt Fitzpatrick.

World number one Scottie Scheffler, who is bidding to become the first player to retain the title this week, didn’t have his A-game but still chiselled out a five-under 67 that left him in a seven-way tie for sixth.

The world number one bogeyed the first but made six birdies with relative ease before scrambling for par at the last after a pushed tee shot.

“Yeah, it felt fairly stress-free,” Scheffler said. “I had the really good par there on 18. Outside of the start, I played a lot of really good golf. 

“It’s nice to only have one bogey around this place and hopefully continue to do more of that the next few days.”

McIlroy was arguably the big winner on the day as he turned his iron play around dramatically after a closing 76 at Bay Hill on Sunday and shot 65 despite making a bogey at the 18th and a double bogey at the seventh as a result of pulled drives into the water.

“Just I needed to clean up the technique a little bit, needed to clean up some things,” McIlroy said. 

“Honestly, I just needed to put the time in. I think when you play — I’ve wanted to play a lot to start this year, and I have, but when you play a lot, you don’t maybe get the time to practice all that much. 

“At the same time, say I had a decent day on Sunday at Bay Hill and shot 70, for sure I would have taken Monday off here.

“But because of not shooting a decent score, I grinded on the range and figured something out and put the time in, and it’s sort of already reaping benefits, so that’s nice.”

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