Lowry upset by late reverse as Harrington is de-ranged
 Joost Luiten of the Netherlands receives a bottle of champagne for his albatross on the 11th hole during day two of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters at Real Club Valderrama on October 20, 2017 in Cadiz, Spain.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Joost Luiten of the Netherlands receives a bottle of champagne for his albatross on the 11th hole during day two of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters at Real Club Valderrama on October 20, 2017 in Cadiz, Spain.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Shane Lowry was frustrated by closing double bogey but knows that even six shots off the lead he's still in the hunt for the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation.

The world No 88 was three-under par for his second round and inside the top 10 playing the tight, par-four 18th.

But after getting out of position from the tee and missing the green by inches with his third, he made a closing six for a one-under 70.

Despite slipping back to tied 16th on level par, six shots behind Dutchman Joost Luiten, Lowry hopes he feels a little more comfortable from the tee in round three and can take a run at the leaders.

"It was a good round of golf but to be honest, I didn't have my best stuff out there today," Lowry said after a six-birdie round on a day when Pádraig Harrington and Gary Hurley shot 73s.

The Dubliner, who complained that the ban on hitting drivers on the range might have contributed his double bogey at the second, shares 44th on three-over.

As for Hurley, he can chalk this one up to experience as he comfortably missed the four-over par cut.

Luiten leads by a shot from Sergio Garcia (71), Robert Rock (70) and Scott Jamieson (68) on six-under after a round that featured two birdies, four bogeys and a spectacular albatross two at the 11th - the first in tournament play on the hole

There were almost as many ups and downs in Lowry's round, but he was not too downcast having struggled to ignore the cork oaks that line Valderrama's narrow fairways.

"I scrambled well and kept the ball in play, but just when you think you have this course [under control], it jumps up and bites you at the end," Lowry told Meridian Media's Denis Kirwan after his unfortunate finish.

"But listen, I probably would have taken level par after two rounds. I am right in the hunt only five or six behind."

Lowry made early birdies at the third and fifth and followed a bogey at the seventh with birdies at the ninth and 11th to get to two-under for the tournament.

He rebounded from back-to-back bogeys at the 13th and 14th with birdies at the 16th and 17th.

And while he was disappointed to give two shots back at the 18th, he is optimistic for the weekend.

"It's disappointing because par or even bogey on the last and you are shooting in the 60s, which is a good day around here," he said. "But like I said, level par for two rounds is alright."

Asked if birdies were "gold", he chuckled and said: "Pars are gold! Hopefully, I will hit it a little better off the tee tomorrow because I didn't feel very comfortable today. I might go and hit a few shots to try and sort that out."

Harrington also needs a confidence boost with the driver, but he won't get it at Valderrama where the Tour has banned use of the club on a practice ground that only measures 300 yards if you hit diagonally from one corner to the other. 

 Drivers are banned on the range at Valderrama this week. Image: Google

Drivers are banned on the range at Valderrama this week. Image: Google

"It was a bit of a struggle," the 46-year-old said after closing with a soft bogey at the downwind ninth. 

"I'm not creating many chances out there. It didn't help things that you can't hit drivers on the range, and I hit a bad drive to start off on the second hole, and I never felt comfortable for the rest of the day. That's my excuse anyway."

The three-time major winner felt the Tour might have lifted the driver ban on the range, given the cool morning conditions and the wind direction. 

"There was no reason not to," he said. "We couldn't hit our drivers out of the range this morning because it was cold and into the wind, so honestly, it wasn't a great.

"I could understand if we were hitting it out of the range, but we weren't. At least, I wasn't anyway."

The Dubliner birdied the 17th but bogeyed the 18th to turn in 37 before following eighth successive pars on the back nine with a closing bogey.

"I did what I had to do," he added. "You are never happy when you bogey the last hole, and it was downwind and a pretty easy hole. 

"I had a good chance to get up and down on the second last hole as well. So it was a disappointing finish. 

"I felt I could have got it back to level par for the day and finishing two-over par leaves a little bit of a sour taste."

Harrington at least made the cut, unlike playing partner and world No 5 Jon Rahm, who shot rounds of 74 and 75 to miss the cut by two strokes on his professional debut in Spain. 

"He's a strong lad, and he can hit all the shots," Harrington said of Rahm's game. "This course certainly didn't suit his style of play. But I am sure every time he plays a course like this he will get better as a player.

"He is certainly a fine striker of the ball and a good putter, and you get him on a stadium golf course, and he'd be hard at it. 

"But then again he managed his way around the links at Portstewart, so he obviously knows what he's doing too. It just wasn't his week."

As for the weekend, Harrington knows he needs to hit more fairways to have any chance of making a move.

"It's always a target to shoot as low as possible," he said. "It doesn't look like I have it in me at the moment so we will wait and see."

Shane Lowry was frustrated by closing double bogey but knows that even six shots off the lead he's still in the hunt for the Andalucía Valderrama Masters.

The world No 88 was three-under par for his second round and inside the top 10 playing the tight 18th, but after getting out of position and missing the green by inches with his third, he made a closing six for a one-under 70.

Despite slipping back to tied 16th on level par, six shots behind Dutchman Joost Luiten, Lowry hopes he feels a little more comfortable from the tee in round three and can take a run at the leaders.

"It was a good round of golf but to be honest, I didn't have my best stuff out there today," Lowry said after a six-birdie round on a day when Pádraig Harrington and Gary Hurley shot 73s.

The Dubliner, who complained that the ban on hitting drivers on the range cost him a double bogey at the second, shares 45th on three-over but after his opening 80, Hurley comfortably missed the five-over par cut.

Luiten leads by a shot from Sergio Garcia (71), Robert Rock (70) and Scott Jamieson (68) on six-under after a round that featured two birdies, four bogeys and a spectacular albatross two at the 11th.

 There were almost as many ups and downs in Lowry's round, but he was not too downcast having struggled at times to find Valderrama's narrow fairways.

"I scrambled well and kept the ball in play, but just when you think you have this course [under control], it jumps up and bites you at the end," Lowry said of his day

"But listen, I probably would have taken level par after two rounds. I am right in the hunt only five or six behind."

Lowry made early birdies at the third and fifth and followed a bogey at the seventh with birdies at the ninth and 11th to get to two-under for the tournament.

He showed no little determination, rebounding from back-to-back bogeys at the 13th and 14th with birdies at the 16th and 17th.

And while he was disappointed to give two shots back at the 18th, he is optimistic for the weekend.

"It's disappointing because par or even bogey on the last and you are shooting in the 60s, which is a good day around here," he said at the 18th. But like I said, level par for two rounds is alright."

Asked if birdies were "gold", he chuckled and said: "Pars are gold! Hopefully, I will hit it a little better off the tee tomorrow because I didn't feel very comfortable today. I might go and hit a few shots to try and sort that out."

Harrington also needs a confidence boost with the driver, but he won't get it at Valderrama where the Tour has banned use of the club on a practice ground that only measures 300 yards if you hit diagonally from one corner to the other. 

"It was a bit of a struggle," the 46-year-old said after closing with a soft bogey at the downwind ninth. 

"I'm not creating many chances out there. It didn't help things that you can't hit drivers on the range, and I hit a bad drive to start off on the second hole, and I never felt comfortable for the rest of the day. That's my excuse anyway."

The three-time major winner felt the Tour might have lifted the driver ban on the range, given the cool morning conditions and the wind direction. 

"There was no reason not to," he said. "We couldn't hit our drivers out of the range this morning because it was cold and into the wind, so honestly, it wasn't a great.

"I could understand if we were hitting it out of the range, but we weren't. At least, I wasn't anyway."

The Dubliner birdied the 17th but bogeyed the 18th to turn in 37 before following eighth successive pars on the back nine with a closing bogey.

"I did what I had to do," he added. "You are never happy when you bogey the last hole, and it was downwind and a pretty easy hole. 

"I had a good chance to get up and down on the second last hole as well. So it was a disappointing finish. 

"I felt I could have got it back to level par for the day and finishing two-over par leaves a little bit of a sour taste."

Harrington at least made the cut, unlike playing partner and world No 5 Jon Rahm, who shot rounds of 74 and 75 to miss the cut by two strokes on his professional debut in Spain. 

"He's a strong lad, and he can hit all the shots," Harrington said of Rahm's game. "This course certainly didn't suit his style of play. But I am sure every time he plays a course like this he will get better as a player.

"He is certainly a fine striker of the ball and a good putter, and you get him on a stadium golf course, and he'd be hard at it. 

"But then again he managed his way around the links at Portstewart, so he obviously knows what he's doing too. It just wasn't his week."

As for the weekend, Harrington knows he needs to hit more fairways to have any chance of making a move.

"It's always a target to shoot as low as possible," he said. "It doesn't look like I have it in me at the moment so we will wait and see."

As for Luiten’ incredible feat - the fifth albatross on the European Tour this year and just the third in tournament play at this venue - was almost made even more remarkable when he came to within inches of finding the cup for a hole-in-one on the following hole.

In the end, Luiten signed for a one-under par 70 to move to a six-under total, moving a shot clear of Jamieson, Rock and the tournament host Garcia.

The Masters champion shared the first round lead with Luiten but could not follow up his opening 66 with an under par second round, carding a level par 71 to give the home crowds plenty to shout about at the weekend.

Scotsman Jamieson had three birdies in the space of four holes on the front nine to thank for his impressive three under 68 in breezy conditions on the notoriously challenging course, while Rock boosted his hopes of a third European Tour title with a one-under 70.

Joost Luiten

“I hit a good drive and had 291 metres to the flag, just in the semi-rough but it was sitting up nicely. The wind was helping a bit and I just hit a good four iron and it pitched a couple of yards onto the green and all of a sudden you hear the crowd go crazy.

“I couldn’t see it from where I was because you couldn’t see the surface of the green but it’s always nice to get an albatross. It’s very special.

“The next hole, a par three, I hit a five iron straight at the pin and it pitched three foot short. I couldn’t see if it clipped the pin or not but I rolled in for a birdie and that’s what you want, when you’re hot you want to keep it going.

“I'm happy with the way I played. I finished second last year, so I like this place. Hopefully, we can have a good weekend and we can win here but there's a lot of golf to be played and we just need to focus tomorrow and have another good round.

“I think it will play a bit shorter off the tee, it will be a bit harder maybe to hit the fairways if they're going to run off but it's still fairly soft, you can still be aggressive into the pins but you've got to hit the fairways and that's the game-plan for the weekend. I think ten under will be a good number.”

Sergio Garcia

“I feel like I could have shot probably two or three under but it was tough out there this afternoon. It was a little bit breezy, the fairways were starting to firm up a little bit, some of the pins were difficult to get to and unfortunately because of all the rain the greens in the afternoon were a tiny bit bumpy.

“At the end of the day, even par is not a bad round here with a bit of wind so we're still there. Both up-and-downs on 17 and 18 to finish will leave a little of a better feeling than the three-putt on 16 and hopefully we can keep going in that direction tomorrow.

“We'll just ice it (wrist) a little bit and put that anti-inflammation patch that I have and hopefully it will be fine tomorrow."

Scott Jamieson

“I’m delighted with that. Anything under par around here, most people would sign up for before they tee off and especially in the tricky conditions today with the breeze blowing.

“I didn’t do too much wrong on the second, I thought I’d hit a perfect tee shot but I was right behind a tree and that’s what you get out here. You’ve got to expect it. From there I was able to pick up some birdies.

“It just requires so much patience out here. You’re going to hit some good shots that put you in a really tricky spot and then you’ve got to make a decision, there’s a lot of risk-reward, so you can take your medicine and say bogey is the worst I want to make here. It’s about calculating when you want to take the risks or not.

“Coming into this week I knew I needed a good one to try and get into the final few events – I’m touch and go for the first one in Turkey as it stands – so hopefully a strong weekend and that’ll take care of it.”

Robert Rock

“I've played better than one under just threw stupid shots away from the edge of the green that are pretty basic so it's annoying but it's a good two days. I'll reflect later on and think it's alright. There was just a little bit more wind on occasion that made certain shots quite tricky.

“I'm happy with that, I've played good. I haven't had many opportunities in my career where I should have been a few ahead, maybe, and you kick yourself when you don't make the most of that. There are some great players on the leaderboard and it would be nice to have a few extra shots on them come the weekend but I'll take it.”

Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, Real Club Valderrama (Par 71)

Detailed scores

136 J Luiten (Ned) 66 70, 

137 S Jamieson (Sco) 69 68, R Rock (Eng) 67 70, S Garcia (Esp) 66 71, 

138 B Evans (Eng) 69 69, 

139 O Wilson (Eng) 69 70, R Gouveia (Por) 69 70, 

140 P Peterson (USA) 68 72, P Larrazábal (Esp) 67 73, J Donaldson (Wal) 73 67, A Hansen (Den) 70 70, E Molinari (Ita) 69 71, A Johnston (Eng) 69 71, 

141 R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 70, R Bland (Eng) 70 71, 

142 D Brooks (Eng) 70 72, S Soderberg (Swe) 73 69, M Kaymer (Ger) 70 72, A Cañizares (Esp) 72 70, A Connelly (Can) 73 69, A Plant (Eng) 70 72, R Finch (Eng) 69 73, R Dinwiddie (Eng) 71 71, D Willett (Eng) 70 72, Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 70, A Otaegui (Esp) 71 71, 

143 S Kjeldsen (Den) 72 71, W Ormsby (Aus) 73 70, A Sullivan (Eng) 71 72, J Morrison (Eng) 69 74, P Waring (Eng) 71 72, L Slattery (Eng) 72 71, M Wallace (Eng) 71 72, B Ritthammer (Ger) 75 68, A Wu (Chn) 72 71, 

144 M Manassero (Ita) 70 74, T Detry (Bel) 72 72, P Angles (Esp) 75 69, P Hanson (Swe) 69 75, A Rai (Eng) 70 74, J Fahrbring (Swe) 73 71, L Jensen (Den) 70 74, J Lima (Por) 72 72, 

145 C Syme (Sco) 75 70, A Karlsson (Swe) 73 72, O Fisher (Eng) 72 73, N Bertasio (Ita) 74 71, J Scrivener (Aus) 70 75, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 72 73, M Foster (Eng) 73 72, R Paratore (Ita) 77 68, J Walters (RSA) 71 74, 

146 F Aguilar (Chi) 70 76, J Suri (USA) 73 73, A Chesters (Eng) 72 74, C Hanson (Eng) 72 74, F Fritsch (Ger) 71 75, S Crocker (USA) 73 73, Z Lombard (RSA) 75 71, D Perrier (Fra) 74 72, C Pigem (Esp) 73 73, J Campillo (Esp) 73 73, A Romero (Arg) 71 75, B Dredge (Wal) 73 73, A Knappe (Ger) 74 72

Cut

147 P Widegren (Swe) 75 72, J Parry (Eng) 74 73, N Elvira (Esp) 73 74, M Jonzon (Swe) 75 72, G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) 71 76, 

148 E De La Riva (Esp) 74 74, R Wattel (Fra) 74 74, R Karlsson (Swe) 76 72, C Paisley (Eng) 75 73, J Lagergren (Swe) 75 73, M Kieffer (Ger) 76 72, R Green (Aus) 75 73, 

149 S Webster (Eng) 71 78, D Stewart (Sco) 75 74, S Tiley (Eng) 76 73, S Manley (Wal) 72 77, S Khan (Eng) 72 77, J Olazábal (Esp) 77 72, M Nixon (Eng) 74 75, D Im (USA) 76 73, J Rahm (Esp) 74 75, N Johansson (Swe) 76 73, N Fasth (Swe) 75 74, A Björk (Swe) 78 71, G Boyd (Eng) 75 74, 

150 N Kimsey (Eng) 73 77, M Siem (Ger) 73 77, S Gros (Fra) 75 75, S Gallacher (Sco) 77 73, M Korhonen (Fin) 73 77, M Armitage (Eng) 72 78, G Bourdy (Fra) 75 75, G Stal (Fra) 76 74, L Canter (Eng) 73 77, R Echenique (Arg) 76 74, 

151 M Ilonen (Fin) 76 75, S Henry (Sco) 77 74, S Dyson (Eng) 74 77, D Law (Sco) 71 80, 

152 J Stalter (Fra) 76 76, C Lee (Sco) 74 78, G King (Eng) 77 75, D Howell (Eng) 77 75, 

153 M Carlsson (Swe) 79 74, Gary Hurley (Irl) 80 73, T Lewis (Eng) 77 76, R Langasque (Fra) 76 77, 

154 S Walker (Eng) 78 76, A Quiros (Esp) 74 80, M Pastor (Esp) 81 73, 

155 J Edfors (Swe) 77 78, J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 81 74, A Velasco (Esp) 78 77, 

156 J Rutherford (Eng) 75 81, A Maestroni (Ita) 74 82, 

157 J Quesne (Fra) 79 78, 

158 P Maddy (Eng) 78 80, 

159 G Havret (Fra) 79 80, 

160 J Carlsson (Swe) 81 79, 

** S Del Val (Esp) 75 WD, R Gonzalez (Arg) 69 RT