PGA TourBrian Keogh

Late eagle excites Lowry: "I'm going out with a chance tomorrow"

PGA TourBrian Keogh
Late eagle excites Lowry: "I'm going out with a chance tomorrow"

Shane Lowry closed with a sensational eagle three to keep his victory hopes alive in the Barracuda Championship in Reno.

The Offaly star's hopes looked to be fading when he bogeyed the second and third and followed birdies at the eighth, 13th and 15th with a bogey four at the 16th.

But he hit a 286-yard four-iron to less than 10 feet at the last and made the putt to pick up another five modified stableford points there and eight for the round to jump from tied 12th to fourth, just eight points behind leader Andrew Putnam.


"It was very hard today," Lowry said. "Very windy, really difficult to pick a club. I just got off to a bad start and I just hung in there all day, and I feel like my patience was rewarded with that eagle on the last. 

"It's this format, that's what's great about it, and that's why I'm really enjoying myself this week. You can make a move very quick. Yeah, I'm going out with a chance tomorrow now, and I'm excited."

Lowry was pleased not to throw in the towel as he knows that anything can happen over the last few holes at Montreux Golf & Country Club.

"You get to 13, you really feel like you have chances coming in. Like I missed a three-footer for birdie on 14, so that was very disappointing, and I just kept going, I birdied 15, and I bogeyed 16, but bogeys don't kill you in this format. 

"Obviously I was just hoping to birdie the last to be honest. I really felt like if I birdied the last, I'd have a chance going into tomorrow, but I just hit the most beautiful 4-iron in there and managed to hole the putt, as well."

If the event were to finish now, Lowry would move up to 139th in the FedExCup standings but he's chasing a win that could give him a two-year exemption and guarantee his spot in the playoffs with two events to spare.

Seamus Power made just two points yesterday and shares 27th on 20 points with Pádraig Harrington T51 on 13 points after making three birdies in a bogey-free third round worth six points.

Graeme McDowell is tied 59th on 11 points after a making three birdies and two points in four-point third round.

Leader Putnam, who was second in the FedEx St Jude Classic and 29th in the FedEx Cup, made eight birdies in a 15 point round yesterday to lead by  three points from Sam Saunders with form US PGA winner Chad Campbell six behind in third place after he racked up 22 points in a magical third round.

Neither Putnam nor Saunders has won on the PGA Tour and makes Lowry one of the more experienced contenders, even if he hasn't won for three years.

"Funny, obviously my first PGA Tour win was in Akron, but my first win as a professional was in the Irish Open as an amateur," he said. "That was my first-ever tour event to play. I won pretty early. And then didn't win for three years after that. That was a hard one. Obviously, it was tough to win in Akron, and I haven't won since.

"You know, look, we're all decent golfers. I think anyone going out tomorrow within a certain score of the lead, no matter what they're doing, everyone is the same. It's as hard to win whether you've won before or whether you haven't won, I think. Yeah, obviously I've won, and I'm going out with a chance tomorrow now, and I'm very excited and love to see what happens."

His game plan has been to make birdies and limit mistakes to a bogey you lose just one point as opposed to three for a double.

"I've been looking at it as if I can try and make five, six birdies around, I'll be able to get something because you're always going to make a couple of bogeys, especially around here with the altitude and the wind and stuff," he said. "Look, I made two eagles so far this week. They're huge. If I can make another one tomorrow, that would be great, as well."