Throwing more coal into the furnace to get the steam engine moving is sometimes a great idea when the going gets tough. But a five-putt triple bogey pushed Shane Lowry too far and he exploded rather than imploded to miss the cut in the BMW PGA Championship for the first time since he turned professional.
It would be tough to find a player who was looking forward to a run around Wentworth's much maligned West Course as much as the likeable Offaly man.
What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. That's my thought for the evening anyway May 27, 2016
Given his recent record, there’s no doubt whatsoever that the world No 36 could see himself contending again and giving his season the kickstart he believes it needs after several false starts.
If he wants to establish himself in the world’s top 30 and contend for big wins and Ryder Cup teams this year, the 29-year old is going to have to better learn how to ride that fine line between self-motivation, anger and self-flagellation.
Forget about getting the wrong side of the draw in the Irish Open. This was a season of frustration slowly boiling over.
The warning signs were there in the opening round, when he said after hitting a nice shot into the 18th that his day would be a good one if he could knock in the birdie putt.
He did, shooting 69. But Lowry might well look to Pádraig Harrington for guidance on how a good or a bad hole — especially a final hole — can affect your mindset.
The Dubliner’s double bogey six at the 18th on Friday at the 2007 Open Championship comes to mind.
“Yeah, I’m disappointed, but I don’t think it will affect the outcome of my tournament this week,” said Harrington, who would go on to win his first major 48 hours later. "I don't think it will have any affect. What I did today won’t really affect too much the rest of the week.”
It was a declaration of intent from a man at the top of his game but for Lowry, not getting the most out of Thursday was clearly hurting him and when he dropped two shots in his first three holes on Friday to slip all the way back to one under par, boiling point was never far away.
Even when he birdied the fourth and 11th to get back to three under, he appeared anxious, possibly because Masters champion Danny Willett had gone out in a record breaking 29 to get to 12 under.
When he bogeyed the 13th, every error became magnified.
A huge drive down the 15th left what TV analyst Paul McGinley thought was no more than a seven iron. His shot flew right over the stick and rolled through the back, stopping on the apron.
Lowry faced a treacherous, downhill putt but misjudged it before four-putting from less than 10 feet.
It all added up to a triple bogey seven and t one over par, he was right on the projected cut line.
Having rallied well after dropping three shots on the 13th and 14th on Thursday, there was to be no coming back this time.
A double bogey six at the 16th left Lowry needing a heroic finish but two par-fives meant he signed for a 78 and he missed the cut by two on three over.
“I really don’t want to talk about it,” Lowry told reporters at the finish.
As things turned out, Willett had a poor back nine and but a 68 for 10 under par still left him tied for the lead with YE Yang (69) and Australian Scott Hend, who eagled the last for a 69.
The leaders are one clear of South Africa’s Jaco Van Zyl (68) but only one other Irishman man the cut.
Graeme McDowell had ti dig deep just to card a one over 73 that leaves him tied 24th on two over.
As for the rest of the Irish, it was not to be.
Club professional Colm Moriarty shot a fine 70 in the penultimate match of the day with pars at the last two holes leaving him out in the cold by a shot on two over.
Michael Hoey missed his 11th cut in a row — this time by three strokes — when he followed his 70 with a 78 that featured four dropped shots in the last four holes.
Waterville’s David Higgins was just a shot outside the mark with four to go but bogeyed the 15th and 18th for a 73 to miss out by three strokes.
Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke continued his 2016 torture with a 79-77 run for 12 over, which was four better than Eamonn Brady (84-76).
As for 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, he retired with a bad back after three dropped shots in his first four holes.
The Dubliner played just a handful of holes in the pro-am due to his back injury and confessed he was lucky to tee it up at all on Thursday.
As for the co-leader, Willett produced a stunning front nine, reaching the turn in just 29 shots courtesy of six birdies in seven holes.
He bogeyed the tenth but regained that shot on the 14th, but his progress was checked with three bogeys in a row from the 15th hole before a closing birdie gave him the clubhouse lead on ten under par.
That was matched by former US PGA champion Yang and Australian Hend, both of whom had eagles on their cards – Yang’s on the 12th hole and Hend’s on the 18th – to result in a three-way share of the lead.
South African Jaco Van Zyl birdied his closing two holes for a round of 68 to sit one shot behind the leading trio on nine under par. Three former World Number Ones are also in the top 20, with Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer in a share of 11th place on four under par after rounds of 72 and 70 respectively, while Lee Westwood is a further shot adrift on three under par after also signing for 70.
“It wasn’t quite the back nine I was hoping for but I’d have taken ten under par at the beginning of the day. It was two tales, but that’s golf, isn’t it? I played great most of the day and then chucked a couple of horrid golf shots in there, so it was nice to make birdie at the last with two really good golf shots into 18. I composed myself quite nicely.
“It’s a lovely place in the world to come play golf and it’s just nice getting the crowds here supporting. The fans were great again today. I think they just want an English winner. I don’t think it’s so much that they are putting pressure on me as a single person; they just want a British player to do well, which is fantastic.”
“I’d been struggling all day to get the ball over the centre of the club, but I did as best as I could and it was a nice way to finish. I hit a nice little sliding driver down there and sort of chunked a six iron, but it was nicely on the green. I knew I had a quick putt, so I just hit it where I thought it could go and it rolled all the way. It was a good result considering I was floundering coming down the last few holes, and it’s positive going into the weekend.”
“I was angry after dropping a shot on 17 so it was nice to finish with a birdie on 18. It was a very good bunker shot. Everything is feeling very positive and I’m very happy with my position going into the weekend.”
Jaco Van Zyl
“I got off to a bit of a slow start and missed a couple of shots, but then just started hitting it really nicely on the back nine and made a couple of putts. It got quite breezy at one stage. Once you turn on to 13, your home stretch is basically into the breeze. They are really tough holes. To walk away there a couple under par, I’m really, really chuffed.”
Round 2 scores: (69 players made the cut at +1)
134 S Hend (Aus) 65 69, D Willett (Eng) 66 68, Y Yang (Kor) 65 69,
135 J Van Zyl (RSA) 67 68,
138 J Campillo (Esp) 71 67,
139 R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 71 68, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 68 71, J Luiten (Ned) 65 74, P Hanson (Swe) 70 69, R Dinwiddie (Eng) 70 69,
140 R Rock (Eng) 67 73, T Aiken (RSA) 71 69, R Bland (Eng) 71 69, F Aguilar (Chi) 69 71, R Green (Aus) 67 73, L Donald (Eng) 68 72, M Kaymer (Ger) 70 70, J Lovemark (USA) 71 69,
141 E De La Riva (Esp) 69 72, L Westwood (Eng) 71 70, T Pieters (Bel) 71 70, D Lingmerth (Swe) 70 71, D Brooks (Eng) 71 70,
142 S Khan (Eng) 69 73, C Wood (Eng) 72 70, Graeme McDowell (Nir) 69 73, F Zanotti (Par) 72 70, E Molinari (Ita) 72 70, R Wattel (Fra) 69 73, A Noren (Swe) 69 73, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 72 70, G Bourdy (Fra) 73 69, T Hatton (Eng) 72 70,
143 D Lipsky (USA) 71 72, S Benson (Eng) 70 73, S Jamieson (Sco) 72 71, J Lagergren (Swe) 71 72, J Morrison (Eng) 73 70, D Drysdale (Sco) 70 73, S Webster (Eng) 73 70, V Dubuisson (Fra) 69 74, R Karlberg (Swe) 69 74, D Horsey (Eng) 72 71, T Jaidee (Tha) 70 73, F Molinari (Ita) 72 71, J Quesne (Fra) 69 74, P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 72, N Holman (Aus) 72 71,
144 A Sullivan (Eng) 71 73, B An (Kor) 72 72, B Hebert (Fra) 75 69, G Hutcheon (Sco) 71 73, M Ford (Eng) 70 74, S Chawrasia (Ind) 71 73, N Colsaerts (Bel) 73 71, R Ramsay (Sco) 71 73, T Fleetwood (Eng) 73 71, C Lee (Sco) 70 74, J Fahrbring (Swe) 73 71, B Wiesberger (Aut) 76 68,
145 J Wang (Kor) 72 73, L Haotong (Chn) 74 71, S Lee (Kor) 73 72, J Carlsson (Swe) 71 74, A Johnston (Eng) 76 69, R Paratore (Ita) 73 72, T Bjørn (Den) 75 70, M Siem (Ger) 71 74, A Dodt (Aus) 70 75,
146 R Karlsson (Swe) 75 71, Colm Moriarty (Irl) 76 70, R Jacquelin (Fra) 74 72, R Fisher (Eng) 73 73, G Woodman (Eng) 69 77, S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 76, J Singh (Ind) 71 75, M Carlsson (Swe) 71 75, N Fasth (Swe) 75 71, P Lawrie (Sco) 72 74, R Knox (Sco) 75 71, G Havret (Fra) 74 72,
147 B Dredge (Wal) 75 72, Shane Lowry (Irl) 69 78, D Howell (Eng) 73 74, A Wall (Eng) 75 72, T Olesen (Den) 74 73, G Storm (Eng) 74 73, J Ruth (Eng) 73 74, G Boyd (Eng) 77 70, O Fisher (Eng) 73 74, M Manassero (Ita) 73 74, S Gros (Fra) 77 70, N Elvira (Esp) 71 76,
148 A Cañizares (Esp) 75 73, E Pepperell (Eng) 71 77, Michael Hoey (Nir) 70 78, David Higgins (Irl) 75 73, M Jiménez (Esp) 78 70, J Hansen (Den) 73 75,
149 P Meesawat (Tha) 72 77, J Winther (Den) 75 74, S Gallacher (Sco) 75 74, H Porteous (RSA) 79 70, T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 72 77, H Otto (RSA) 73 76, M Baldwin (Eng) 77 72, J Donaldson (Wal) 77 72, G Fox (Sco) 72 77,
150 C Paisley (Eng) 78 72, M Foster (Eng) 73 77, R Kakko (Fin) 73 77, M Fraser (Aus) 78 72, L Bjerregaard (Den) 74 76, W Ashun (Chn) 76 74, M Warren (Sco) 78 72, L Slattery (Eng) 72 78, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 74 76, B Stone (RSA) 73 77,
151 M Madsen (Den) 75 76, B Virto Astudillo (Esp) 78 73, G Coetzee (RSA) 78 73, R Sterne (RSA) 74 77, M Ilonen (Fin) 77 74, O Wilson (Eng) 75 76, M Kieffer (Ger) 78 73,
152 B Åkesson (Swe) 74 78, G Wright (Wal) 77 75, S Dyson (Eng) 77 75, G Stal (Fra) 76 76,
153 P Edberg (Swe) 76 77, A Quiros (Esp) 74 79, J Parry (Eng) 74 79,
154 R Gouveia (Por) 72 82, B Evans (Eng) 76 78, S Hansen (Den) 76 78, S Drummond (Sco) 77 77, K Broberg (Swe) 77 77, D Fichardt (RSA) 80 74,
155 J Ablett (Eng) 78 77, E España (Fra) 78 77, T Linard (Fra) 74 81,
156 Darren Clarke (Nir) 79 77, M Southgate (Eng) 82 74, M Cort (Eng) 78 78,
157 R Davies (Wal) 79 78,
160 B Rumford (Aus) 78 82, Eamonn Brady (Irl) 84 76, J Scrivener (Aus) 84 76,
** J Jeong (Kor) 87 WD, Paul McGinley (Irl) 78 RT.