Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne know there’s no place like home after getting off to sub-par starts at The K Club.
As Dunne fired a super 70 just days after getting home from hospital following food poisoning, Lowry can’t wait for a lie in his own bed today after carding a brilliant, one under 71 in an early morning monsoon,
The 2009 champion ended the day six shots behind leader Danny Willett and while he’s well off the pace, he knows he’s got a chance of pulling off a famous Irish Open double.
Laughing off the early start, Lowry said: “I had a few family out there today and I I don't know if the people coming up from Offaly like the early starts because it was quite an early start for everyone today.”
With hundreds of well-wishers trying to eat into his time, he grinned: “I try and give people as much time as I can but it's important for us to rest up.
“It’s important for me to do what I have to do this afternoon, go home, and happily enough I can go back to my own house and chill out.”
Looking at the glass as half full despite virtually duffing his approach into a bunker to the ninth, Lowry added: “I hit the ball really well today, a lot of good iron shots, especially on my back nine,
“If anything, my second shot on nine was almost too easy. It was 150 yards straight downwind. It was just a little wedge and I hit about an inch behind it.
“I'm happy the way the day went. I feel like I probably should be at least two or three better, but they don't give out trophies on Thursday, so I'm in the tournament.”
Lowry birdied the 10th when the greens were becoming flooded due to torrential rain and while he bogeyed the 15th and 17th, he birdied the 18th after almost holing his approach for an albatross to go out in level par.
Birdies at the first, fourth and sixth against a lone bogey at the short third left him two under before that late mistake.
He knows he could have shot three or four under par but after going one over par through eight holes, he refused to panic and bounced back well.
He said: “I was hitting good shots so it was not the time to hit the panic buttons.
“You can’t win it on a Thursday but you can lose it, so you just have to play your way into it nicely and I feel like I’m in a grand position now.”
Open hero Dunne is looking forward to getting out early after firing a two under 70 just days after spending two nights in hospital with food poisoning.
Three under for his round with three holes to play, he missed an 18 inch putt on the 16th and then bogeyed the 17th to be in danger of throwing a great round away.
But the Greystones rookie hit a three-iron into the heart of the 18th and two-putted for birdie and a 70 that left him just five shots behind leader Willett.
Dunne said: “I am pretty pleased with two under on a day like today because it was very blustery out there and the wind swirled in different directions through the trees.
“I played well and I was disappointed to bogey the 16th and 17th - especially 16,
“It couldn’t have been more than 18 inches — a tap in — and the only reason I didn’t tap it in is that it was sitting down in a little depression on the green and just jumped straight left.
“I didn’t do anything wrong and it was just unfortunate but on 17 I hit a bad tee shot out of position so it was nice to hit a good drive and a nice three iron in there and two putt.”
As for his food poisoning, he said: ”It's nice to go back and sleep in my own bed. It's great, I have a lot of support here, people from my hometown and friends and family coming out to watch me.
“You can feel them willing the ball into the hole for you, especially on a day like today, when things start to get away from you.
“I felt good today. Every day I have felt a bit better. I got a good night’s sleep and I’m eating a little more each day. It’s good to be at home.”