After a "kickstart" ace Lowry is plotting his attack on marathon Monday at THE PLAYERS

by Ronan MacNamara  

Shane Lowry by Golffile

Shane Lowry feels yesterday’s hole-in-one on the 17th kickstarted his Players Championship and after returning to the course to complete his third round he is just three shots adrift of India’s Anirban Lahiri on six-under-par.

The Clara native signed for a five-under 65 to move into the top-8 before the final round commences this evening.

“Yeah, it's funny because sometimes it can work the other way,” said Lowry. “You do something like that and it can be hard to come down off a high like that. But I obviously bogeyed it afterwards, but I went on to birdie the first and second when I turned and I came back out this morning and hit some nice shots. But I should have birdied 6 and then birdied 9 there.

“I feel like I'm going to be within somewhat touching distance of the leaders and hopefully I can shoot a low number. But definitely it kick-started my tournament really, got me into a position -- I said to Bo when I was standing at the back of the green after all the madness, I said, we're back in the tournament now, and yeah, it's nice, and I'm looking forward to this afternoon.”

With the course in pristine condition with no wind to provide a challenge to the players, it seemed like it would be a sprint finish before the final round tee times and after Lowry coughed up a great birdie chance from inside 6-feet on the 6th it seemed like his race might have been run. However, a birdie on his final hole coupled with Lahiri and co failing to put daylight between themselves and the chasing pack has him right in the mix.

“It's probably going to be 9, 10, so I'm pretty sure I'll be about four back. Obviously 16 there's a chance, but 14, 15, 17 and 18, where the pin is, obviously on 17 is gettable, but they're still tricky holes. Yeah, the lead will probably be 9-, 10-under, but I wouldn't expect it to go much more than that.

“Yeah, winning score, I have no idea. It's probably going to be a nice afternoon, so scoring is probably going to be pretty hot this afternoon with the conditions of the golf course. The greens are nice and they're soft. I'm probably going to have to shoot a pretty good number to give myself a chance.”

It has been a remarkable week for so many reasons with the weather wreaking havoc at TPC Sawgrass. Lowry managed to complete his first round on Thursday but had to wait until Sunday to begin his second round before two closing birdies saw him make the cut.

Despite admitting the week has been “weird” there was plenty of sport on television to keep the Offaly man entertained during the delays as he enjoyed Ireland’s win over England in the Six Nations. Lowry will have a couple of hours before his final round tee time and he is looking forward to recharging and attacking the golf course as he bids to end a 32-month winless run.

“Look, I think when you've been out on TOUR, this is my 14th season, I started in Europe in 2009 and I think you just get used to it. You just kind of relax, and there's nothing you can do about it, and even like I was fortunate enough I was on the good side of the draw, but even when you get the bad side of the draw, you just have to take it on the chin and get on with it.

“Yeah, I had a pretty nice couple of days off, Friday and Saturday, there's a lot of sport on TV on Saturday I watched, and yeah, just chilled out. But like I said, you get used to it over the years.

“Obviously this is the first week where it's gone on so long that I can remember. Playing my second round on a Sunday morning was a bit weird, but it doesn't even feel like a Monday today. Going out now this afternoon at THE PLAYERS Championship on a Monday afternoon feels a bit weird, but I'm looking forward to it,” he added.

While Lowry moved forward on Monday morning, Seamus Power fell as the fatigue of playing on each of the five days appeared to catch up with him.

The West Waterford native returned alongside Dustin Johnson to complete his last five holes and despite a much-needed closing birdie, he played them in two-over.

Power who needs to keep his foot on the gas to maintain his place inside the world’s top-50 with the cut off for the Masters coming in two weeks dropped three shots in two holes after a double and a bogey on 15 and 16.

The 34-year-old is in a share of 44th on one-under after eventually signing for a one-over 73.

Rory McIlroy also shot a 73 and is back on three-over.


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