Shane Lowry insisted he will conquer Augusta eventually after his Masters dream took a battering in a hail of third round bogeys.
With a blustery wind making for terrifying conditions, the Clara man bogeyed five of his first seven holes, eventually carding a seven over 79 to crash out of contention and back into the pack on seven over par
Lowry said: “Days like today are tough and major golf is tough but that’s the way it is supposed to be and I know for a fact that if I keep positive that some day this course will suit me. I really like this place and feel I could do well here in the future.”
Mental strength kept the pride of Clara in the tournament on Friday when he chiselled out a 76 to go into the third round on level par, tied for eighth and just four off the lead.
But a nervy start wrecked the 29-year old’s hopes of remaining in contention and challenging for a first Major title.
He bogeyed the first, second and third and then came to the 240-yard, par-three fourth and hooked his tee shot into the first row of the grandstand, making another bogey.
He steadied the ship with a brace of pars but then bunkered his second at the tight seventh and dropped another shot.
There was no birdie at the par-five eighth either and while he parred the ninth and 10th, his first bit of good luck came at the toughest hole on the course.
Force to miss the right, he fluffed his chip to the fringe but then chipped in from 36 feet for an unlikely par.
After a bogey at the short 12th in round one and a double bogey on Friday, Lowry wasn’t looking forward to taking on the hole the call Golden Bell.
And so it proved as he came up short in the bunker and missed a 12 footer for par to slip to six over.
While he birdied the par-five 13th, Lowry bogeyed the 16th and 18th to end the day back in the bottom half of the field.
He said: “It was just tough out there and I was behind the black ball from the word go. One birdie on a day like today, a few poor decisions and missing on the wrong side — you just can’t play this golf course like that.
“It’s back to the drawing board for tomorrow. I was fighting hard for a while and five over playing 12 thinking if I could get it in the house at three or four over, I’d have half a sniff going onto tomorrow.
“But I hit a great shot that came up three yards short in the bunker and that was dead. I will go out tomorrow and try and make a few better decisions. You definitely learn from days like today."