Test of patience for Lowry; frustration for Padraig

Test of patience for Lowry; frustration for Padraig
Shane Lowry at the launch of his partnership with  Immedis .  Picture: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Shane Lowry at the launch of his partnership with Immedis.  Picture: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Fed up Shane Lowry confessed he’s sick of struggling but vowed to keep “plugging away” after an opening 72 left him playing catch up in The Open.

As Pádraig Harrington failed to make even one birdie in a disappointing 73, Lowry made three birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey six in a rollercoaster two over round.

The Clara man feels he’s playing well but he admits that his patience is at breaking point

But after winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in his very next start after missing the cut in The Open in 2015, he’s prepared to grin and bear it for now.

Gritting his teeth, Lowry said: “It was a very disappointing day on the golf course. I'm starting to get sick of them but I'll just have to get on with it and get out there tomorrow and do my best. 

“The way I played today should, I definitely should have been better than 72. Unfortunately, I'm getting a bit used to it and I'm disappointed at the minute. 

“You just have to take it on the chin but, unfortunately, I've been taking it on the chin a lot more in the last while. 

“I feel like my golf is good but I'm getting absolutely zero out of it. But look, there's a long week left. 

“I believe there's some bad weather tomorrow. If I can go out there and try and keep it at the score I'm at or try and get it back towards par, I think I'll be doing all right.

“Maybe it'll start happening for me tomorrow. Some day it's going to start happening for me.”

Lowry got off to the perfect start when he rifled a 190-yard five-iron to 15 feet and birdied the first.

But he did well just to bogey the second after his bunker shot came back to him, then handed back a birdie from 20 feet at the ninth by failing to convert a straightforward chip and putt at the 10th.

He then three-putted the 13th from 35 feet to go one-over before taking six at the 16th where he was plugged in a greenside trap and three putted from 50 feet.

He bounced back by getting up and down from sand for birdie at the par-five 17th and believes he can still turn his season around if he remains patient. 

He said: “My patience levels? They’re being tested really quite a lot at the moment. It's a hard game sometimes.

“I remember feeling like this a couple of years ago at The Open and I went and had the biggest week of my life two weeks later, so you never know what's around the corner in this game, it's funny.”

Two-time Open champion Harrington missed early chances inside 15 feet at the first and fifth before he missed a three footer for par at the short seventh and never recovered.

A double bogey six at the 11th, where he three putted from long range after driving into a hazard, was a massive blow.

But even though he failed to birdie the 17th where he made that spectacular eagle to win The Open in 2008, he was still able to enjoy the sentimental journey.

Putting aside his disappointment for a moment, Harrington said: “I enjoyed walking down 17 and I enjoyed walking down 18. So yeah, there was a little bit of sentiment. 

“I still enjoyed the 17th. You know what, I am glad I played it the way I did in 2008. I wouldn't swap it around. They can’t take it away from me.” 

It was a case of what might have been for Harrington, 45, who made just two putts of any length all day.

He said: “I a couple of decent chances early on and if I had taken one or two of those, it would have created some momentum. 

“Then I missed a short putt on the seventh for par, and it was tough enough after that I suppose.

“I double bogeyed 11, and it really goes back to the start. If I had made an early birdie or two, I think the round momentum would have been more with me. 

“It just really wasn't my day, and I wasn't taking chances.”

The Dubliner only has eyes for victory and with players of the calibre of two-time major winner Jordan Spieth and US Open champion Koepka already eight strokes ahead of him he knows he needs help from the weather.

He said: “Koepka hasn't played since the US Open, so that is quite impressive. And Spieth, we all know when he gets himself up there he can hold on to it and move away from a field.”