Lowry not Boal-ed over at Rosses Point

Irish champion Shane Lowry pulled off a Houdini-style escape to keep his West of Ireland dream on track at Rosses Point.

The Clara man was one down against Ulsterman Ryan Boal playing the last but holed an outrageous 30-foot birdie putt to force extra time before winning on with a par at the 20th.

It was another cruel defeat for Boal, who three-putted the second extra hole and confessed that he had “flashback” to a similar defeat to Rory McIlroy two years ago.

Now Lowry is determined to prove just why he’s Irish champion when he faces veteran Eddie McCormack in today's semis.

Two up with six to play, Lowry lost the 13th to a birdie and the 14th and 17th to pars to go one down and felt the game was up.

He said: “I thought it had slipped away from me at that stage because Ryan was holing putt after putt. I couldn’t shrug him off.”

With Boal just 12 feet from the stick at the 18th, Lowry fired a 90-yard wedge to 30 feet and drained the putt to take the match up the 19th,.

He said: “I saw the line, just outside the right and the only thing I didn’t want to do was leave it short. When stuff like that happens it is almost meant to happen.

“I am probably am expected to win now but there is nothing I can do about that. I just have to keep playing the way I am playing. I am putting decently and hitting the driver well.

“There is an expectation there because I am the Irish champion but it comes with the territory.”

Lowry will face Cavan man veteran Eddie McCormack with Mullingar’s Dessie Morgan taking on the The Curragh’s Paul O’Hanlon in the other semi-final.

Travelling salesman McCormack, 35, has been forced to take time off work to play this week but he hopes to go one better than his Irish Close final defeat to McIlroy in 2005.

A 4 and 3 winner over Mayo-man Mick Lavelle, McCormack said: “After losing to Rory I’ll know what to expect when it comes to crowds.

“I just got the job done today. I was doing it Faldo-style, hitting it in the middle of the greens and not acting the maggot.”

O’Hanlon, 22, also suffered at the hands of McIlroy in the 2006 West final but came from behind to beat England’s Jonathan Hurst 2 and 1

O’Hanlon said: “I kind of know what it is all about. Coming here I had no real expectations but as the tournament has gone on I have gotten better and better.”

Semi-final rival Morgan, 27, has his sights set on his first major victory and a place in history.

A 3 and 2 winner over Michael Sinclair, Morgan said: “Getting your name on a trophy is something that lasts forever.”