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Lowry survives brutal Augusta and looks for “mad things to happen” – News – Irish Golf Desk


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Shane Lowry looked like he’d just gone 12 rounds with Marvin Hagler rather than majestic Augusta National but he was proud to grind out a second-round 74 in the toughest conditions he’s ever faced to make the cut with ease in the Masters.

The 2019 Open champion was gutted to three-putt the 18th hole and finally complete an opening 73 that did little justice to his play for 16 holes on day one.

The golfing gods decided he would go on to sandwich a birdie at the second between a pair of three-putt bogeys at the first and third.

But he dug deep in winds gusting to 30 mph and after going bogey- birdie-bogey at the seventh, eighth and ninth to turn in two-over, he saved two great pars at the 10th and 11th and rebounded from another dropped shot at the 12th to birdie the 14th from four feet as he played his last six holes in one-under.

Safely through to the weekend on three-over, he was looking forward to putting his feet up and watching the afternoon starters battle even tougher conditions,.

“Yeah, it was tough, the two days,” said Lowry, who ended the day nine shots behind Max Homa, Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler in a tie for 35tth.

“Shooting one over how I played yesterday was pretty disappointing, and then I was behind the black ball after a few holes today.

“I battled well. I’m proud of myself for playing the last six holes in one-under to make the cut, and yeah, hopefully go out there and have a decent weekend.”

He added: “It’s an absolute battle. Like (caddie) Darren (Reynolds) said, if you’re talking in boxing terms, walking up 18, he said, you’d think it was round 12 today, not round two. It was tough.”

With the wind swirling viciously in the pines, club selection was a lottery and Lowry admitted the conditions made some of the best players in the world look foolish.

“It’s honestly a lot of guesswork, a lot of luck involved,” he said. “It’s hard to hole putts. It’s hard to hit it close. There’s a lot of luck involved out there today.

“The wind is all over the place. I’ve never seen it like this. That was probably the toughest two days of golf that I’ve played. I’ll sleep well tonight.”

He resumed his first round on the 17th in the cool morning winds at 7:50 a.m. at level par, but while he made a nice chip-and-putt par at the treacherous 17th, his putting cost him dearly over the next few hours.

“It’s hard to pick a wind and it’s hard to get it right if we were playing around a normal golf course, but you’re playing around Augusta National, where you have to be so precise, as well,” he said.

“You can be made to look like an idiot out there today by not doing too much wrong.

Look, I’m not overly happy with my two days’ work, but I’m here for the weekend, and I’ll give it a run.”

The key to his round came at the 10th, where he was bunkered but rolled in a 10-footer for par after initially backing off due to the wind.

“Yeah, huge,” said Lowry, who had to make an 11-footer for par at the next. “The wind is just blowing. I can’t imagine what it was doing to poor Akshay (Bhatia, 9 stone 2lbs). It was blowing me around the place. He nearly got blown away!”

“I actually said to myself going down 10, if I can par the next three holes, I’ll give myself a couple of chances on the way in. On 12 you’re just hitting and praying today. Like I probably should have hit 9-iron, but you get a gust the wrong way, and it’ll barely make the water, let alone carry it.

“I bogeyed 12 but then gave myself a few chances on the way in, and I’m very happy the way I played when I needed to.”

Lowry’s putting clearly let him down but he knows he is playing well enough to get back to level par or better and potentially make a run, conditions depending.

“I played all the golf,” he said. “I played good enough golf to be nearly on the leaderboard or on the leaderboard the last two days. It’s just my scoring.”

As for today, he added: “Yeah, you go out there and try and break 70 and try to have the best week you possibly can. You look at it from here, I have 27 holes to get myself into position to maybe make a run at it on Sunday.

“You never know what’s going to happen. You see someone shoot 7-under the first day, you automatically think it’s going to be in the teens winning, but not around here.

“So we’ll see what happens over the next two days. Stranger things have happened around here, and mad stuff has happened.”

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