Lowry hangs tough on long day at Harbour Town
Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry lost none of his mojo after a long weather delay and remained on top in the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head.

The world number 50 leads by a stroke on nine-under par with two holes of his stop-start second round to complete at Harbour Town Golf Links, where played was suspended by three hours and 43 minutes shortly after midday.

He had doubled his one-stroke overnight lead with a birdie-birdie start before play was suspended due to the threat of lightning, firing a wedge to just 18 inches at the first before hitting a  30-yard pitch to three feet at the par-five second.


The course was soon lashed by heavy rain and strong winds, leaving Dustin Johnson and Emiliano Grillo sitting pretty in the clubhouse lead on seven-under par with West Waterford’s Seamus Power five shots behind them after a 72.

World number one Johnson was relieved to be able to finish his round as the hooter sounded as stood over a tricky approach putt from off the green at the ninth.

"It was difficult all day," said Johnson, who defied winds gusting to 30 mph and made five birdies in his 67 to lead by a shot with Grillo from Rory Sabbatini (69) and CT Pan (65) on seven-under. 

"Luckily we could still play and finish the hole. It's nice to get done; that's definitely a bonus."

Ian Poulter shot a 67 that left him just two shots off the clubhouse lead, and he was relieved to finish as others were facing an early morning return to the course today to complete their second rounds.

"I'll be chilling at home," said Poulter, who finished just 20 minutes before play was suspended. "It's not an easy afternoon for those guys. I've done my bit, and now I can relax."

Matt Kuchar, who was a shot further back after a 69, added: "This is one of those days when you look forward to getting back on the couch and watching the guys deal with it."

Power was out first and would have been happier had he not come home in four-over 39 having surged into a share of the lead through six holes.

He birdied the first and did well to limit the damage to a bogey at the third after being forced to take a penalty drop in the trees.

But he responded with three birdies in a row, knocking in a six-footer at the 181-yard fourth and a five-footer at the par-five fifth before sinking a 20 footer at the sixth.

He couldn't keep it going, however and after a bogey at the 12th, he badly pulled his tee shot at the 191-yard 14th and chipped through the green into the lake, running up a double-bogey five.

It all ended with a bogey at the 18th, where his 200-yard approach ran through the green, and he failed to get up and down for par, ending the day tied for 43rd.

Grillo made an albatross two at the fifth, his 14th, holing a two-iron hybrid from 254 yards, then birdied the ninth for his 67.

"It was a perfect shot," Grillo said of the second albatross of his career. "Perfect distance. Perfect everything. Perfect wind. It was one of those that was good, but you never expect it to go in."

When play resumed, Lowry birdied the fifth, three-putted the par-three seventh for his first bogey of the week but then followed a good par save from six feet at the 14th with a superb birdie four at the par-five 15th.

Facing a 255-yard approach over water, he fired his second shot to 25 feet and two-putted to edge clear of the field again and now has just the 17th and 18th to complete when play resumes at 7:45 am local time.

He’s one stroke clear of Trey Mullinax, who added a new 68 to his opening 66 to set the clubhouse pace on eight-under with Graeme McDowell nicely placed, tied for seventh on five-under with five holes remaining.

McDowell got off to a great start, racing to the turn in four-under 32 to get within a shot of Lowry and Mullinax before back to back bogeys at the 12th and 13th took some of the gloss off his day.

Meadow cut in Hawaii

Stephanie Meadow missed the level par cut by two strokes in the LOTTE Championship on Thursday, where Brooke Henderson and Nelly Korda lead by a shot on 14-under par heading into today’s final round.

Meadow followed an opening 74 with a 72 at Ko Olina Golf Club on Oahu. Scores

On the Alps Tour,  Simon Bryan tied for 47th in the Abruzzo Open on one-over par.