Laughing Lowry in the pink

Shane Lowry smiled his way to a super 65 to keep his 3 Irish Open title defence alive.

The Offaly man, 23, was furious with himself as he crashed to an opening 74.

So he decided to joke and laugh away his around yesterday and racked up seven birdies in a sensational six under effort to make the cut with ease on three under.

Lowry beamed: “I was very disappointed with myself yesterday. I couldn’t put my finger on what happened but I just didn’t feel like myself on the course.

“A lot of things were upsetting me, and I wasn’t in great form. But today I went out with a different attitude and as you can see it was a different score.

“I was more like myself on the golf course  -  I was a bit chirpy, laughing and joking in between shots, and that’s the way I normally am. 

“I wasn’t like that yesterday and hopefully I can push it on towards the weekend now and post a low number.”

Lowry was inspired by playing partner Ross Fisher who came close to the European Tour’s first 59 but had to settle for a 61 in the end.

Lowry grinned: “It felt like I was shooting level par with the way Ross played.  It was a pleasure to watch golf like that. 

“With him making so many birdies and hitting so many good shots, when you are seeing good shots, it helps you hit good shots, as well.

Lowry felt like kicking the cat as he took 32 putts in a three over opening effort to sit outside the cut line.

But he used the blade just 25 times in a six under par second round and didn’t have to putt at all as he sensational holed his pitch from behind the 17th green for his final birdie of the day.

A sensational winner of the title as an amateur last year, Lowry confessed that the pressure of defending was almost too much.

But after his sensational comeback, he believes he’s still got an outside chance of making a weekend charge up the leaderboard.

He said: “I’ve had a lot of Fridays like this where I’ve needed to go out and shoot a score to make the cut and I managed to do it almost every time.

“It’s great to be able to go out and do that.  So I am proud of myself the way I handled myself today and the character I showed on the golf course.

“I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself all week with so many people here and so many people from home. It’s only natural.

“There were all sorts of thoughts going through my head last night but I’m delighted with the score today and this morning was just thinking I wanted to be around for the weekend

“I’m up around towards the top and I know Ross is nine ahead of me but if I can go out there and post two good numbers Saturday and Sunday, see what happens.”