Lowry gunning for big finish and FedEx Cup bounty

Lowry gunning for big finish and FedEx Cup bounty
Shane Lowry. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Shane Lowry. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Shane Lowry might "hate" Bermuda rough but he insisted he will be chasing hard for FedEx Cup points today despite carding a three over par 74 to slip to tied 47th in the US PGA at Quail Hollow.

The Clara man recovered from early bogeys at the first, fifth and sixth with a glorious eagle three from 10 feet at the seventh.

But instead of pushing on, he found the deep rough and firm greens at Quail Hollow a massive test and played the remaining holes in two over to slip back to four-over par.

“It was just tough, and I just missed it in the wrong spots today," said Lowry who is ranked sixth for strokes gained putting but 74th for strokes gained around the green.

"When I missed the green it wasn’t about making par, it was about making bogey. 

"That’s how it is out there, I just pulled a few iron shots and missed a couple of putts I wasn’t missing in the first couple of days."

Lowry missed a seven footer for birdie at the 10th and a four-and-a-half footer for par at the 11th to leave himself battling to keep his head above water.

After a pulled tee shot led to another bogey at the 13th, he dug deep to birdie at the 14th and 15th to get back to one over for the day. 

Playing partner Graham DeLaet played the stretch from the 12th to the 15th in birdie, eagle, eagle, birdie (almost acing the driveable 14th) en route to a 68 that leaves him tied for seventh on two under and just five shots behind leader Kevin Kisner.

But Lowry missed greens and bogeyed the 16th and 17th and had to pull off a superb par save at the 18th after his approach ran into a difficult spot in the fringe.

“All in all it wasn’t that bad," said Lowry, who is 146th in the FedEx Cup standings with only the top 125 after next week's Wyndham Championship making the first Playoff event.

"I still drove it quite nicely and my putter was good but the putts on ten and 11 were big for the whole round. 

"I had a great chance on ten for birdie and then I missed a short one for par on 11. I felt like I hit good putts, they were just misreads.

I just need to go out and keep playing like I’m playing. If I play like this for the rest of the year I’ll be alright.
— Shane Lowry

“I’ve got a lot to play for tomorrow, a lot of FedEx Cup points to play for. 

"Even coming down the last that’s all I could think of and I put a couple of good swings on it. I had a couple of great shots at the last and what an up and down that was at the end.

“I was very unlucky that it ended up where it did but when I go out there tomorrow my main goal will be to try and get it back to par. 

"It’s a very realistic goal for tomorrow but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself on this golf course.

“I just need to go out and keep playing like I’m playing, if I play like this for the rest of the year I’ll be alright."

Quail Hollow was a torture chamber for the field with high temperatures, deep rough, vicious pin positions and a five-and-a-half-hour pace of play described by Lowry as "ridiculous".

“I missed six and 12, the two par threes, on the wrong side and straight away you have a 20 footer for par at best if you hit a good chip shot but that’s just the way it is," he said.

“You chip to 20 feet and you’re basically trying to drop it in and that’s the way it is. The Bermuda grass is horrible, to be honest, I hate it."

Normally one of his strengths, Lowry found chipping particular difficult.

“I have a couple of ways of playing the chip shots, either try and draw it or dig the heel in a little bit," he said. "That’s the two ways to play, read the lie as best I can. You cannot do anything, it’s a bit of luck I think, if you get the ball sitting down there – I’ve no clue how it’s going to come out. Fairplay to lads who do.

“This is what it’s like down in Florida and this is what it’s going to be like at the Wyndham in Greensboro. This is the type of grass you have to play out down there so you just have to deal with it, keep it on the fairway and keep it on the greens.”